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RUSH: Let’s dip our toe in the hot box, folks, and see what’s lurking out there on the telephones. Mr. Snerdley reports a very tough first half hour screening phone calls. I’ll give you an example, one guy actually called and wanted to get on the air because he heard me say that evangelicals are a bunch of missing-front-teeth-hayseed hicks with gun racks in the back of the pickup truck. Of course, I did say that, but I was repeating and reminding evangelicals and the Christian right, that’s what the libs and the Drive-By Media and the Democrats say of you and think about you. This guy didn’t hear me say that. Those kinds of things irritate Mr. Snerdley to no end. I could see he was steaming in there and I knew exactly what it was about, I knew exactly what he was getting because when we bring the subject up of religion, you get what you get. And we’re not going to put 99.9% of it on. So I’m now eager to go to the phones and find out just what passed Snerdley’s filter here. That’s why it’s going to be the hot box. Chuck in Evansville, Indiana, you’re first. Welcome to the program.

CALLER: How you doing, Rush? Are you there?

RUSH: I’m here.

CALLER: Okay. I just wanted to take issue — actually, I wanted to agree with you that it’s the conservatives, like the website that you mentioned, that are coming down on Romney, that are going to try to destroy him because of his religion.

RUSH: Well, you are right about that. But that’s primarily in the context of after this speech. I don’t think the conservatives forced the speech. Well, some Republicans I guess you’d have to say did, it’s a Republican primary and so forth —

CALLER: Absolutely. Yeah.

RUSH: Make no mistake, though, Chuck, don’t discount this reality that liberals want to destroy everybody of faith.

CALLER: Wait a minute, Rush, though, I’m a liberal, and I do not hate religion. I don’t fear religion.

RUSH: Well you’re not a full-fledged lib then.

CALLER: Absolutely.

RUSH: Oh, you’re not. You can’t be.

CALLER: I’m as liberal as you go.

RUSH: You can’t be.

CALLER: I promise you, I guarantee you I am.

RUSH: Oh, I know you think you are.

CALLER: No, I know I am. Ask my daughter. She listens to you all the time, and we argue about it, but I’ll guarantee you I’m liberal. Liberals don’t fear religion. What we fear is the control of government by any one religion.

RUSH: How come your religious values, liberal religious values, do not give you that fear, then?

CALLER: It’s my religion — liberals — I’ll tell you what, Rush —

RUSH: Wait a minute. We got liberal Catholics, we have liberal Mormons, Harry Reid’s a Mormon, we got —

CALLER: That’s right.

RUSH: — we’ve got Jewish people in government. How come liberal people and their religion don’t scare you? How come you’re not worried about their trying to impose their religious views on people?

CALLER: It’s the same reason that you say that the liberals don’t have to answer questions about religion. We have our own religious convictions, and we live by them. We believe what Jesus taught.

RUSH: Wait, wait, wait, wait. Liberals have their own religion?

CALLER: Religious convictions, whether you’re Christian, I mean whether you’re Catholic or —

RUSH: Oh!

CALLER: — Jewish.

RUSH: A-ha. Look at what we’re learning. Liberalism is a religion. As I have always thought, is its own religion.

CALLER: No, you’re twisting my words.

RUSH: No, I’m not.

CALLER: That’s not what I said.

RUSH: Yes, it is. I’m reading it right here in the transcript.

CALLER: Right. But Catholic liberals have no fear of Buddhists, or Hinduism, or Muslims, or other Christians.

RUSH: Neither do I. Neither do I. Wait a minute. That’s not what you said. You’re afraid that conservative religious people are going to impose their religion when they govern and that means you’re afraid of religion, you’re afraid of morality, you’re afraid of the guideposts and the guardrails that keep us —

CALLER: Not at all. I agree with them.

RUSH: That’s the primary thing that religion does — one of the many — provide us the roots of our morality and ethics and so forth, in addition to faith and a belief in a creator and things larger than ourselves. You’re being so inconsistent. If you’re going to sit there and say you don’t fear the religious beliefs of any Democrat, but you do fear the religious beliefs of —

CALLER: No.

RUSH: — Republicans, that’s —

CALLER: No, I don’t. I think Mitt Romney did a great job on his speech. I hadn’t heard it except on your program. I think he did a terrific job. But I think who he’s speaking to are of conservative religion, conservative Christians who have little tolerance for people who don’t believe exactly the way they believe.

RUSH: I’m glad you said that because I could understand how a lot of people would think that. I thank you for giving me the opportunity to clarify and amplify remarks, my remarks even more. I think Mitt Romney was speaking to America today, and that’s what I liked about the speech. He wasn’t speaking just to evangelical Christians or the Christian right. He was speaking to Americans about the common values of our founding and how those values continue to bind us together and how they are important to maintain. From that standpoint, it was articulate, it was filled with leadership, and it was aimed at the country. It wasn’t aimed at voters in the Northeast, for example, which is why they probably won’t like it, it wasn’t aimed at voters in the South, it wasn’t aimed at the health care crowd, it wasn’t aimed at the environmentalist wacko crowd, it was aimed at the people of this country. And I think he hit a bull’s-eye.

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