Clinton, Keyes & Me ---------------- Feedback Box:
Mixing Politics & Religion
The Script of The Uncle Ed. Show, April 4 & 8, 2000 AD, one hour, featuring Dave Leach interviewing Clinton impersonator Zech Scott, and (the real) Alan Keyes
Ed: Our guest today is President Clinton, who flew all the way from Washington to be on our show. Why even as we speak, he has Air Force One parked out in the Uncle Ed. Show International Airport and Goat Pasture.
Clinton: Anything to get out of the house. Heh heh.
Ed: Our subject today is Politics and Religion.
Clinton: America is going downhill, and I'll tell you why. Everybody agrees Politics and religion don't mix. So then why are so many people trying to mix them?
Ed: So that's what's dragging America down, you're saying? Christians trying to influence politics?
Clinton: Disgusting! Take that Alan Keyes, that loser who fantasizes about my job. He's always talking about God, right out there in the middle of politics! Imagine someone like him actually getting elected. He would bring shame upon the White House!
Ed: That may be. You have given the White House the kind of reputation that would be tarnished by a man who honors God.
Clinton: That's why Keyes had to be stopped! It was a bipartisan effort! Republicans have no more use, than Democrats, for preaching politicians!
Ed: But Bill, the subject of our show is politics and religion. Why did you bring up Keyes? He doesn't say anything about religion. He only preaches the Declaration of Independence. That's the foundation of our political system, isn't it? Do you think the Declaration is some church document? Don't you agree with the Declaration that if we want to restore our freedoms, we need to acknowledge God as the source of our rights?
Clinton: Right out there in the middle of a political debate? Heh heh. Alan Keyes has turned that honored document into a loophole allowing him to preach his religion to us, right out in public forums where the Constitution says there isn't supposed to be any Establishment of Religion! I'm a lawyer, so I know what he's up to. He has taken that little phrase in the Declaration of Independence, about our Creator, and alien's rights, and all, and turned it into a technical excuse to preach.
Ed: Bill, You agreed to do a clean show, and refrain from personal attacks, and now you accuse Keyes of behaving like a lawyer?
Clinton: Hey, listen to this. I got a tape of him admitting that is exactly what he has done. He has turned that little phrase into a loophole to mix politics and religion:
VIDEO of Keyes at rally:
"We hold these truths to be self evident", our Founders wrote, "that all men are created equal, that they are endowed" -- now here's the embarrassing part. Here's the part that so many people wish we could somehow get away from, strike out, but it's also the part that gives me license, everywhere and always, on every public platform in America, in every court room, in every legislature, in every public place where we come together as a people, we come together beneath a banner on which is inscribed THE NAME OF GOD. THE CREATOR GOD IS THE SOURCE OF OUR RIGHTS.
And I say that, not just as a statement of my religious beliefs. As if I'm claiming something wrong. I claim it because it stands solidly on the ground of that great Declaration.
"All men are created equal, and endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights."
Ed: (Leans in very close to Clinton, points at camera) Why, that was Alan Keyes at his final Iowa rally at the Val Air Ballroom in Des Moines, the Sunday evening before the Iowa caucus of January 23, 2000 AD. You know what, Bill, just before that rally, I had a chance to interview Keyes. (Looks puzzled, starts scratching wrist)
Bill: You didn't take it, did you? Don't you know if you get in bed with a dog, you will get fleas?
Ed: (moves back away, flicks off a flea) I asked Keyes if his right to mix politics and religion comes from the phrase about God in the Declaration. Because if it doesn't, then I wanted to know if it would still be OK to mix them even if it weren't for that little phrase. Because if so, then would it be OK to mix them in any country, even where they don't have a Declaration like ours?
Clinton: Oh no! I never thought about it SPREADING! I'm afraid to ask. (looking away; then, looking back,) what did he say?
Ed: He said no, were it not for the Declaration, it would probably NOT be right to mix politics and religion. He said we are just blessed that we DO have the Declaration in our heritage.
Here's how the conversation went:
VIDEO of Dave Leach interviewing (the real) Alan Keyes:
Ed: You pointed out that to say our principles should conform to the will of God is not a religious statement, but a political statement, since it takes its premise from America's founding political document. Is it true beyond that? Could you say, for people of other nations, without these tenets for their heritage, that to have political discussion that tries to seek the will of God is legitimate for politics?
Keyes: I'm not sure. I think that from the point of view of my faith and conscience, one is trying to do justice, and justice, in the end, is defined by, and based upon, God's Will. And you take that as a premise, and move forward. We are blessed, in this society, that the basis of our political constitution is a principle that acknowledges God's Will.
That is not true in all times and places. As a matter of fact, I'm not sure how often it's been true before, of most political institutions. So I think we've been especially blessed. But that's the juxtaposition, in which the basis, in a worldly temporal sense, of our understanding of justice as Americans, and the basis, morally, spiritually, and Scripturally, of justice, are the same. I think we have to understand that that's a providential gift of our history. I don't think it's true everywhere and always.
Clinton: What did I tell you? He treats that phrase as a technical, legal or semantic loophole that lets him go out campaigning for God. I resent him exploiting this loophole to undermine our Constitution, which actually prohibits talking about religion on political campaigns. I'm referring, of course, to our 50th Amendment, commonly referred to as Separation of Church and State.
Ed: What are you talking about? The Constitution doesn't even HAVE 50 Amendments, and it never mentions "Separation of Church and State". What were you thinking of during history class?
Clinton: Heh, heh, heh. But don't get me off the subject. Heh heh. Now I'm a lawyer, so I'm going to tell you something you probably don't understand. But you see, the First Amendment prohibits the Establishment of Religion. So that's why you can't allow folks like Keyes to freely express their religion.
Ed: Why not?
Clinton: Heh heh, I didn't think you would understand. You almost have to be a lawyer to understand complicated things like Freedom. But here, let me try one more time: you see, if you allow somebody to freely express their religion, why that would be ESTABLISHING religion, which the First Amendment prohibits.
Ed: Wait a minute. The First Amendment also protects the freedom of religious expression.
Clinton: It does?
Ed: That's right. It says "Congress shall make no law respecting the establishment of religion, nor prohibiting the free exercise thereof."
Clinton: Says all that, huh?
Ed: It does! So if you say expressing religion is the same as establishing religion, then you make the First Amendment say religious expression is to be both protected and prohibited at the same time!
Clinton: Heh heh. I've explained my way out of tighter boxes than that.
Ed: The right way to explain it is to define the Establishment of Religion the way the first Congress did: things like forcing everybody to attend a certain church, or tithe to a certain church. That was the Establishment of Religion which the First Amendment doesn't let the Federal Government do. But everyone had freedom to express their religion; even politicians. And politicians did it, even right in Congress, all the time.
Ed: But didn't you notice that Keyes doesn't base his right to talk about God on his Freedom of Religious Expression through the First Amendment? He said when he talks about God, he isn't even talking about his religion. He is making a political statement, because he is referring to America's foundational political document. Listen to him once again:
VIDEO of Keyes at rally:
...we come together beneath a banner on which is inscribed THE NAME OF GOD. THE CREATOR GOD IS THE SOURCE OF OUR RIGHTS.
And I say that, not just as a statement of my religious beliefs. As if I'm claiming something wrong. I claim it because it stands solidly on the ground of that great Declaration.
"All men are created equal, and endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights."
I think the crisis of the times, today, is that we have turned our backs on that truth. We have gone down roads that deny the authority and existence of the Creator, and somehow we seem oblivious of the obvious consequences of that. And that's not hard to understand either. Build a house on a certain foundation: what happens if you tear down the foundation? Can the house stand? It cannot. Our liberty rests on this foundation. That our rights come from God. If we deny God, can we hold on to our rights? We cannot.
Ed: Keyes says he has to talk about God to explain America's political foundation, not to share his personal religious beliefs.
Clinton: Sounds more like religion to me. It isn't any kind of political foundation I've ever thought about. I admit he has a First Amendment right to talk about his personal beliefs, but I'm pretty annoyed that he misuses his right to bring in his theology where it doesn't belong.
Ed: Even if it could be called "religion", Keyes isn't talking about his own religion. He is talking about a spiritual heritage which every American shares. He is talking about basic beliefs at the heart of our very form of government. You can't leave the heart of politics out of political talk and make very much sense. Keyes is really saying the Declaration of Independence creates a need, in modern political debate, for acknowledgment of God as the giver of all our rights.
Clinton: Oh, get serious! Haven't you heard people boast "I've got my constitutional rights"? That proves it is the Constitution which gives us rights.
Ed: The Declaration of Independence explains that the Constitution doesn't give rights. It can only protect rights.
Clinton: Ha, ha. I've never heard anybody boast "I've got my God-given rights!"
Ed: But the Declaration correctly says it is God who has endowed us with "certain inalienable rights", that is, rights which no government can take away; and it is the function of government to protect our rights; and if government stops protecting our God-given rights, it is our God-given right to abolish that government and replace it with one that does. The Declaration of Independence says all that.
Clinton: You better watch your language or I'll tell Janet Reno on you. Don't you have any respect for our government?
Ed: The language which bothers you is the premise of the very government for which you demand respect. Don't you have any respect for the foundation of government?
Clinton: (Annoyed) You're basing all this on the assumption that the Declaration is some sort of Holy Bible, where every word is from the Mouth of God, and there can't possibly be any mistakes in it. Don't you ever wonder if the Founding Fathers were just a little over zealous about their personal religion at that point? That maybe they were trying to impress one another in an age when church talk was real popular? Do you really, honestly believe if you forget about that silly little embarrassing phrase about God and rights and aliens and all, that our whole way of government will fall apart?
Ed: In other words, you question whether Thomas Jefferson was right?
Clinton: Hey, I know that guy! That's my middle name, Jefferson! Uh, what do you mean, whether he was right?
Ed: Thomas Jefferson wrote the Constitution, of course. And he is famous for a statement that puts the same emphasis on that embarrassing little phrase that Alan Keyes does. Jefferson said that not only is that phrase true, but failure to publicly acknowledge it is abandonment of the very foundation of our freedoms. Here is how he said it: "God who gave us life gave us liberty. And can the liberties of a nation be thought secure when we have removed their only firm basis, a conviction in the minds of the people that these liberties are the Gift of God? That they are not to be violated but with His wrath? Indeed, I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is just; that His justice cannot sleep forever."
Clinton: Well, Jefferson was just another religious nut. You can't believe everything he says. Why, I'll even bet he didn't trust big government.
Ed: So you suspect Jefferson, and the Declaration he wrote, might overstate the importance of unalienable, God-given rights to our form of government?
Clinton: I sure do!
Ed: You're questioning Keyes' belief that the Declaration makes unalienable, God-given rights the foundation of our form of government?
Clinton: I sure am!
Ed: Keyes has said that Foundation would not exist without the Declaration. But you question whether that Foundation exists even with it.
Clinton: I sure do!
Ed: In other words, you're asking, if there were no Declaration of Independence, could a case still be made that the premise of our form of government is unalienable, God-given rights?
Clinton: I sure am! I mean, hey wait a minute! (In a warning tone) Don't crack on me, Uncle Ed.!
Ed: Well let me see if I can try to make that case.
Clinton: Oh no! Is this going to take very long? I have a date in 3 hours.
Ed: Here is Keyes' statement again:
VIDEO of Keyes at rally:
We have gone down roads that deny the authority and existence of the Creator, and somehow we seem oblivious of the obvious consequences of that. And that's not hard to understand either. Build a house on a certain foundation: what happens if you tear down the foundation? Can the house stand? It cannot. Our liberty rests on this foundation. That our rights come from God. If we deny God, can we hold on to our rights? We cannot.
Clinton: Heh, heh. He makes it sound like when human courts define human rights differently than God, they strip away our freedom. Doesn't Keyes know our courts today have given us freedoms that God never dreamt of? Why, God never thought of giving abortionists the rights they enjoy in America today! Or gays, or transvestites, or child molesters, or even prostitutes, not to mention murderers and liars!
Ed: You mention "freedoms". Have you thought about the difference between "freedoms" and "rights"?
Clinton: Huh? There is no difference!
Ed: There is a difference between being free to do something, and having a right to do something. Sometimes we are free to do things which we have no right to do; on the other hand, sometimes we have a right to do things which we are not free to do.
Clinton: Well if that's the difference, I'll take freedoms over rights any day!
Ed: Freedoms have no power to protect themselves. They last only until a bully comes along who is bigger and stronger than you. But Rights are what protect our freedoms.
Clinton: How do they do that?
Ed: I want to explain how the mere acknowledgment of Unalienable Rights are what has kept America free. But first we need to understand what Unalienable Rights are.
Clinton: Where did you get your definition of "unalienable" that you are going to give us? From Alan Keyes?
Ed: He helped me understand them. But I double checked in this dictionary. This is one century old. I got it at a garage sale. It is a reprint of Daniel Webster's original dictionary. (Walk towards camera with Dictionary) Which he published nearly one century earlier. Under "unalienable" it says "not alienable", and "cannot be transferred". In other words, unalienable rights cannot be transferred from one person to another. You can't get rid of them. Under "alienable" is added that they cannot be sold, either.
In other words, "Unalienable rights" are rights which no man, or even government, can take away.
Clinton: MY administration takes away rights all the time! Why, even Christians will admit that!
Ed: You can steal a right. No man can take away inalienable rights.
Ed: You can steal my car. That doesn't take away my ownership of my car. A right is something that belongs to a man. A thief can interfere with a man's enjoyment of his rights, but not with his just claim to his rights.
But what "just claim" can any man assert, who does not assert the authority of God to determine what is just? If you don't believe in God, it is not logical for you to believe in such a thing as an inalienable right.
Clinton: What good does it do you, even if you did? You can sit there and claim all the justice you want, and talk about God's authority all you want, but what is that going to get you if you aren't talking to a Christian? What profound words are going to do you any good with a strong man who doesn't feel any pressure to listen? It's a jungle out there! The strong rule the weak!
Ed: Actually the strong rule only as much as God permits them.
Clinton: Yeah, well, God seems pretty permissive.
Ed: God permits problems big enough that our victory over them, by His power through our Faith, will fill our hearts to overflowing with joy and purpose.
Clinton: Oh? (Surprised)
Ed: I'm supposed to be explaining by what means our assertion of our rights actually operates to protect them. It happens by two means. First, when we are conscious that God gives us our rights, we are bold to claim them. We are bold because we know the God who granted them has the power to defend them! So we press on against all human odds, hopeful that God will march with us. And in fact God does, and all who trust Him are, in fact, victorious; not only through their boldness to march onto the battlefield, the only place where victory is possible; but also through the power of God to overcome evil and grant victory.
The second way assertion of our rights protects our rights is that we are less gullible when self-serving human leaders insist only they have the legitimate authority to decide what rights to give the rest of us. We are ready to explain those principles which have brought happiness and prosperity to every people which has honored them. We encourage all the people to love, and follow, true authority, and stop tolerating impostors.
Clinton: Do you think we could open a window?
Ed: A vision of our God-given rights lowers public tolerance for a tyrant. Tyrants cannot rule a people except by consent. One man has no power to tyrannize 200 million, except by the blessing of a critical percentage of the population. Public confidence in Equal Rights as defined by God erodes public tolerance for a self-proclaimed tyrant who claims for himself the authority to define everybody else's rights.
The Declaration of Independence CONTAINS an assertion of our rights. It does not LEGITIMIZE it. The legitimacy of asserting our God-given rights does not depend on the Declaration. The Declaration didn't, out of nowhere, for the first time in nearly 6,000 years of world history, legitimize the fashioning of human laws after the model of God's laws. Actually the Declaration's embarrassing phrase was but a brief summary of the Bible-based principles of American law already entrenched through that first famous lawyer of early American history.
Clinton: Perry Mason?
Clinton: Blackstone? I've heard of Keystone, but he was a cop.
Ed: God's laws did not become relevant to American law just because dozens of brave patriots pledged their lives to enforce them, as if God's laws were only their own imaginations. Because if the legal authority for our God-given rights is no deeper than that, then it will lose its force as soon as an American generation lacks brave patriots still willing to pledge their lives to enforce it!
Jesus didn't think He needed to wait for the Declaration of Independence before He had the right to discuss lawyers, Herod, Pilate, and the rulers of the Sanhedrin, in the light of the Word of God!
The Declaration itself says God-given rights do NOT get their authority from men, or from anything that men sign, or that men enforce. If we can believe the Declaration, we must believe that its claims were just as true before it was written, and will remain just as true after it is forgotten.
If we can believe the Declaration, its famous passage begins "we hold these truths to be self evident." In other words, as we would say today, "these truths are already obvious." Or, "Any idiot knows these things."
Clinton: I don't know these things.
Ed: Therefore IF we can believe the Declaration, we don't need to cite the Declaration as our authority for talking about how our rights are God-given, and therefore are proper topics of political debate. It is already common knowledge. It is already self-evident. Everybody knows it is true.
The statement of the obvious is not the exclusive right of Americans. It is just as relevant in every other government for politicians to state the truth. Chinese have as much political legitimacy when they state these principles as we do. If we can believe the Declaration.
That doesn't mean, of course, that just because it is legitimate to discuss God's role in defining our legal rights, that our attempts to do so will always be appreciated by those who control the police. All it means is that when we are persecuted for it, we are persecuted unjustly. Because discussion of God's role in defining human legal rights is logical, appropriate, and so fundamental, that censorship of such discussion leads to irrational discussion, government corruption, and erosion of freedom.
Clinton: I think the operative word here is "if". Can we believe the Declaration? It sure doesn't seem self evident to very many people TODAY that all men are created equal. It doesn't seem obvious to very many today that all men are even created. Others may have been created by God, but I evolved from pond scum!
Ed: I don't think that is a statement that requires debate.
Clinton: And what was obvious, then, may not be obvious now. So you see, the Declaration is out of date, just for that sentence alone.
Ed: The Declaration may indeed be out of touch with the intelligence of the times.
Clinton: Sure is! And isn't there just one little problem you're overlooking, when you suggest we run a modern government by 18th century theology?
Ed: And, laying aside for now the bias in how you frame the question, what problem would that be?
Clinton: Why, not everyone worships the same God! Heh heh, bet you never thought of that one, did you? Heh heh! How you goin' to get everybody together to figure out how God defines all your freedoms and rights and aliens and stuff, when you all got different gods? Why, you've got your muhammadens, and your Hindus, and your Jews, and your Bible thumpers, and your head hunters, and every one of 'em's got their own Bible! Why, you've got your Bible, and your Koran, and your Vedas, and your witch doctor incantations! What kind of law you gonna get out of THAT? I think you'd be a lot better off if you'd forget all that God stuff and just stick to the Democratic Party Platform, like I do. Huh? Huh? Bet you never thought of THAT one, DID you? Huh? Huh? I think we know who's got THIS debate by the tail NOW! Give up? Huh? Huh?
Ed: Even though not everyone worships the same God...
Clinton: Yeah, yeah, what'd I tell you? That's the truth, just like I said!
Ed: EVEN THOUGH NOT EVERYONE WORSHIPS THE SAME GOD, IT SHOULD BE SELF EVIDENT, as the Declaration asserts it is, that our freedoms depend upon our will to discern which God is True; and upon our love, to discern, as a people, which Laws are His.
Clinton: Boy, you don't have little goals, do you? How you goin' to get Americans to agree on religion when you can't even talk about religion in public because everybody knows politics and religion don't mix? Huh? Huh? How you goin' to do THAT? I wanna know. Why, you're talkin' changing a deeply ingrained national habit of censoring religious talk in public! And what are you gonna tell people to make your project sound important enough to do THAT? Huh? Huh? I think the farther you go with this, the deeper the hole you're digging for yourself. But just go ahead and dig. Just answer me this: What are you gonna tell people, to convince them that national consensus, on God's will for our laws, is important enough to justify attacking America's underlying principle that politics and religion don't mix?
Ed: I'll tell them...
Clinton: Heh heh, this is going to be rich! Go ahead, Uncle Ed., just don't forget to pull your parachute ripcord on your way down into that hole!
Ed: ...that the alternative, to trusting God to define our rights, is trusting political bureaucracy to do it.
Clinton: (moans) Uh...
Ed: I'm sorry, can I get you something?
Ed: You see, if you are an atheist, your conception of "rights" must necessarily be shallow. You cannot believe you have any more "rights" than other humans are willing to grant you, for only as long as they are willing to grant them. You certainly cannot believe you have any "inalienable" rights; that is, rights which no man or government can take away.
Clinton: If I don't believe in God, I can't believe in a right?
Ed: An inalienable right. Correct.
Clinton: So if I believe in a right, that means I believe in God?
Ed: If you believe a right can be inalienable, then yes, if you are logical, you will believe in God.
Clinton: Well, I believe in Gay Rights. Does that prove I will go to Heaven?
Ed: (Laughs) Do you think Gay Rights are unalienable?
Clinton: Well, sure. I guess. What did you say that means?
Ed: Well, what do you believe is the source of Gay Rights? (HUMANS LACK CONSENSUS AND CONSISTENCY TO ENACT RIGHTS
Clinton: The source?
Ed: Yes. What authority enforces Gay Rights?
Clinton: Why, government.
Ed: Has there ever been a time when government has not protected Gay Rights? Is it possible that at some time in the future government might stop protecting Gay rights?
Clinton: Why of course. Gay Rights aren't always protected by government now.
Ed: And when government refuses to honor Gay Rights, is there any other force with the authority to tell government its refusal violates the law?
Ed: I'll take that as a "no". Does anyone have the authority to tell government that when it doesn't honor Gay Rights, it is WRONG?
Clinton: Why, I know in my heart it is wrong!
Ed: Does your heart have greater authority than government? Can your heart stand before the government, and order it to stop what it is doing or you will punish it?
Clinton: Uh, no.
Ed: Then government can give people Gay Rights, and it can take them back away?
Ed: Then Gay Rights are not "inalienable". "Inalienable" rights are rights from which nobody can alienate from you. No one can take them away from you, ever. No human, nor any human law, can give you inalienable rights. Because humans change. Humans die and are replaced with other humans; and even if they didn't, humans change their minds. What humans give, humans are likely, eventually, to take away. God never changes. What God gives, God does not take back.
So not only does God give rights which make men happier, and not only does God stand behind men who assert those rights, to give them victory, but also the rights God gives us are secure even from God Himself. God will not take back what He has given us.
If you cannot believe in God, then you cannot believe in any principle which any man has any obligation to respect beyond what he is forced to respect by superior physical force. Your only hope for freedom is that other men may voluntarily restrain themselves from restricting your freedom, in return for your usefulness to them. But freedom that tenuous lasts only as long as you are perceived as useful. That is the kind of "rights" which thieves honor, who tolerate you until you can help them rob the bank, but when it comes time to split the take, your usefulness is over, and your life may be, too.
If it is only by force that our forefathers got us the advantages we have, then they are ours only as long as we possess superior force. What despair, to believe our liberty is only at the expense of another's restraint, and there is nothing to hold the line between us steady, any higher than shifting physical power!
That is America Today: the perceived usefulness of humans is collapsing from the edges. Unborn babies are not perceived as useful if they are not "loved", and hence they have no right to live. Helping to fray this edge farther is Professor Peter Singer of Princeton, who is promoting infanticide of useless, handicapped born babies through 3 months after birth.
From the other side, Euthanasia is debated everywhere as a serious agenda, and uninsured sick elderly patients are already in enough danger that senior citizens have some legitimate concern for their lives.
But of course the right to live is not the only right we would rather not lose. We should not be surprised, when a society which believes it is men, and not God, who should decide who should live, also believes it is men, and not God, who should decide how much of our money, and property, and the rearing of our own children, that we should be allowed to manage, rather than government.
Here's how Alan Keyes made the connection:
Video of Keyes explaining, at rally, how acknowledgment that rights are from God affects issues from taxes through abortion
Clinton: I don't care how relevant you can make theology to politics, it's just not practical! Americans don't all agree on which one is the true God, or which book is God's Word. Even among those who believe the Bible is God's Word, there is disagreement over what it says about public issues. What do you gain by talking about a God which every man sees differently?
OK, let's say you have proved God gives us rights. Now let's see you prove what they are! Many books claim to be God's Word. We as individuals reach our personal convictions about it. But how can we as a nation reach enough consensus about it, that we can even talk intelligently about how to fashion our laws so that they protect our rights, as God defines them?
Ed: Well, the answer is that we don't need consensus about God's Word before we can constructively discuss God's principles in politics. In fact, to the extent we already had consensus, there would be no need to discuss it! The purpose of discussion is to try to work towards consensus!
I'm not offering to settle all theological controversy for you. I'm merely calling for an end to censorship, so that people whose positions are grounded in their faith will be free to explain why they hold their positions. I'm just pointing out that if we don't want a few powerful leaders deciding how much freedom the rest of us deserve, our only protection is our national recognition that our rights to Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness are inalienable, because they are not the concession of man but the gift of God Almighty, Maker and Ruler of Heaven and Earth.
Clinton: So your solution is to force Americans to figure out which is the real God, and step in line behind Him.
Ed: No American will be under pressure to make up their minds which God is True, and which Laws are His. Let me explain with an example from liberal theology. Liberals will argue, that the ozone layer is breaking up, so therefore let's ban freon. Not everyone shares the theology that the ozone layer is breaking up. Conservatives will counter that volcanoes dwarf all the pollution of man; and scientists will tell you that ozone is created by the earth's magnetic field, which is weakening by 1/2, every 1600 years, so it is inevitable that the ozone layer, too, will dissipate at that rate. So you have all these different theologies competing with one another. And then you take a vote, and you find out if freon is going to be banned.
Now let me take a conservative issue: Sodomy.
Clinton: (Gasp) You said the "S" word!
Ed: Any word that is good enough for God, is good enough for me. The liberal theology is that Sodomites were "born that way" just as much as blacks, and they can't change. So they deserve legal civil rights protection. The Romans 1 theology is that sodomites are born of people who turn their hearts from God and common sense and sink lower and lower until they reach the ultimate depravity, sodomy. But 1 Corinthians 6:11 categorically declares sodomites can repent; in fact it says the Corinthian church was partly populated with former sodomites.
So now Congress is going to decide about civil rights for sodomites. So the liberals quote all their psychological studies, and their sodomite suicide studies, and they cry about what victims they are. But what do the conservatives quote? They question the studies, and point to other studies, and accuse sodomites of hypocrisy; in fact, they do everything BUT quote the one Book which forged their loyalty to the issue in the first place: the Bible! That is the only thing I really see as missing in national debate.
Politics is where we decide which sins to prohibit, and which sins to protect. Abortion, sodomy, pornography, gambling, drugs: shall we prohibit them, or protect them? I cannot imagine what can be left of any Gospel which has nothing to say about these sins!
Many are drawn to politics because they stand passionately for positions, their loyalty to which was not inspired by their logic, but by God's Word. But what reason do they give the public for their positions? Every reason but the One that inspired them!
Christians think it is somehow against some sort of law to quote the Bible during political discussion.
Clinton: Isn't it? Isn't that what the 50th Amendment says, Separation of Church and State?
Ed: That amendment hasn't been passed yet. But its on its way. Yet Christians think it's the law not to quote the Bible, and they think they are supposed to obey man's laws until they come in DIRECT conflict with God's laws.
Well there is no human law in America against quoting the Bible in public, while God DIRECTLY commands Christians to quote the Bible in public.
Clinton: You got to be kidding! You mean the Bible DIRECTLY commands Christians to quote the Bible out in the middle of politics?
Ed: Yes. 1 Peter 3:15 says...
Clinton: Uh, oh, never mind. Forget I asked. I don't really care. I'll concede the point. Let's go on to the next subject.
Ed: "...sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear:"
Clinton: Look, Uncle Ed., I just want to give you a little friendly advice. You see, you can't all of a sudden start giving glory to God. That will just destroy your credibility, and then you won't be able to do any good for Jesus.
Ed: Nice try. But if you try to save the glory for your own logic, removed from the very foundation of your logic, you will not persuade. You will look odd.
Clinton: I'm really trying to picture what you are suggesting. Suppose you got the Congress, and the Supreme Court, and all the American people, and some future nutball President, to all agree: "OK boys, we're going to figure out this God thing now, so we can make all our laws like God's Laws. OK, a-1, a-2, a-3, Start!" So what would be the first step?
Ed: Is the generation which walks in space, which has developed scientific tests to separate truth from deception in literature, history, archeology, courts of law, and every other area of human interest, really that helpless to determine which of the several books claiming superhuman authorship really cannot be accounted for by human intelligence? I don't think so! There are tons of scientific scrutiny of the Bible already published and readily available. All that is necessary is to care enough to read them.
The problem is not that it is hard to know the truth. The problem is that this generation is bored by truth. They would rather fill their hours with television fantasy than read evidence of truth. This proves that scientific evidence isn't really what persuades anyway. If it were, people would read it and be persuaded.
There is a little story that proves it is Bible reading, itself, which persuades people that the Bible is the Word of God, more than any amount of scientific evidence.
Luke 16: 19 There was a certain rich man, which was clothed in purple and fine linen, and fared sumptuously every day: 20 And there was a certain beggar named Lazarus, which was laid at his gate, full of sores, 21 And desiring to be fed with the crumbs which fell from the rich man's table: moreover the dogs came and licked his sores. 22 And it came to pass, that the beggar died, and was carried by the angels into Abraham's bosom: the rich man also died, and was buried; 23 And in hell he lift up his eyes, being in torments, and seeth Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom. 24 And he cried and said, Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus, that he may dip the tip of his finger in water, and cool my tongue; for I am tormented in this flame. 25 But Abraham said, Son, remember that thou in thy lifetime receivedst thy good things, and likewise Lazarus evil things: but now he is comforted, and thou art tormented. 26 And beside all this, between us and you there is a great gulf fixed: so that they which would pass from hence to you cannot; neither can they pass to us, that would come from thence. 27 Then he said, I pray thee therefore, father, that thou wouldest send him to my father's house: 28 For I have five brethren; that he may testify unto them, lest they also come into this place of torment. 29 Abraham saith unto him, They have Moses and the prophets; let them hear them. 30 And he said, Nay, father Abraham: but if one went unto them from the dead, they will repent. 31 And he said unto him, If they hear not Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded, though one rose from the dead. 19 There was a certain rich man, which was clothed in purple and fine linen, and fared sumptuously every day: 20 And there was a certain beggar named Lazarus, which was laid at his gate, full of sores, 21 And desiring to be fed with the crumbs which fell from the rich man's table: moreover the dogs came and licked his sores. 22 And it came to pass, that the beggar died, and was carried by the angels into Abraham's bosom: the rich man also died, and was buried; 23 And in hell he lift up his eyes, being in torments, and seeth Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom. 24 And he cried and said, Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus, that he may dip the tip of his finger in water, and cool my tongue; for I am tormented in this flame. 25 But Abraham said, Son, remember that thou in thy lifetime receivedst thy good things, and likewise Lazarus evil things: but now he is comforted, and thou art tormented. 26 And beside all this, between us and you there is a great gulf fixed: so that they which would pass from hence to you cannot; neither can they pass to us, that would come from thence. 27 Then he said, I pray thee therefore, father, that thou wouldest send him to my father's house: 28 For I have five brethren; that he may testify unto them, lest they also come into this place of torment. 29 Abraham saith unto him, They have Moses and the prophets; let them hear them. 30 And he said, Nay, father Abraham: but if one went unto them from the dead, they will repent. 31 And he said unto him, If they hear not Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded, though one rose from the dead
In other words, if I tell you I am against abortion because you are a hypocrite to protect eagle eggs more than human fetuses, that is a weak argument. That leaves you free to approve or reject my human logic as a matter of your personal choice, without moral consequences for yourself for rejecting my human reasoning. But if I tell you I am against abortion because Luke 1:41-44 shows spiritual consciousness before birth, and Psalms 139:13-16 shows with what love God fashions us from conception, and Jeremiah 1:5 shows the earthly mission God has for each of us from before conception, and Proverbs 24:11-12 warns us to save innocents being led away to death, to the extent we are able; THEN to the extent I have presented God's Words in their correct light, it is no longer my reasoning which is the subject of your choice. You stand before God Almighty with this great choice: Whose company do you prefer, the company of God who loves you enough to die for you, and wants to be one with you, as your love reaches out to all, including babies, or do you prefer the company of your own "liberated" self, free to do anything you please, unhindered by concern for others?
You say "But Scripture only convicts the hearts of those who believe it is the Word of God." Nay, but God says the reading of Scripture is more persuasive than anything else you can say, and this is true even for nonbelievers. Shall I believe you, or God?
You say "But how are people going to be persuaded by words from a book, just because you say God wrote the book, if they don't even believe in God?"
Nay, but Romans 1 says (show picture) everyone knows God exists, and everybody even knows God's true nature. It is only by deliberately blinding their own hearts that anyone is able to SAY he is an atheist. This is what makes atheists so angry when they hear Scripture. Their irrational wrath is too passionate to be accounted for by mere neutrality to God's Word. Such frenzy can only be explained as a desperate conscience trying to shut out Words so powerful as to threaten to reach inside.
(In the actual video, which you may order for $20, time constraints required leaving off some of the end, and we closed with a joke.)
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