tv Politics and Public Policy Today CSPAN August 24, 2015 11:00am-1:01pm EDT
he said, every great cause begins as a movement, becomes a business and degenerates to the racket. we are at racket state. the political parties, both and the powers in washington really like the system. they have consolidated power and are making a great living. it is the racket stage in many ways. that's why this conservative movement is having a debate about the future of our country, whether it is the spending of the debt or the power consolidated by the regulatory state and the judges and everybody else. your caller brings up an important point. trump for us, our positions on china, on american sovereignty, which is those international trade deals, eagle forum is a conservative organization and oppose all the trade deals as violations for our sovereignty and bad for american families. we go all the way to somewhere other than the republican right on that. trump is speaking to china, which is a huge threat. he is speaking to our american sovereignty on immigration.
insofar as those are politically incorrect, we applaud him for bringing those issues to the forefront. it is very helpful. >> the caller brings up trump. are there positions that you have learned about that, trump is taking in this presidential campaign that you disagree with? >> here is a headline from talking points memo. trump backs abortion exceptions in cases of rape, incest, life of the mother. >> donald trump has been a little confusing on that. i thought when he first came out, we are now seeing something with the planned parenthood videos, for those that are pro-life and against abortion, never thought we would see. we are exposing planned parenthood. people knew. our website has transcripts of this dealing in fetal parts that occurred. when donald trump and ted cruz said, we have to defund planned parenthood. mr. trump has backtracked and changed his position. one of the reasons why eagle
forum and myself and phyllis have not endorsed a candidate so far, we need more clarity. this is very helpful to force this question and the conversations like this, to get some real understanding of where someone stands. i would like to hear the candidates talk about judges and who they would appoint. not just judges that are conservative and could do the same thing as scalia and thomas. that will reveal how you, the candidate, sees the constitution. >> providence, rhode island, is next where jack is waiting on the line. you are on with ed martin of the eagle forum. jack, you with us? >> caller: i saw a very interesting poll this morning that donald trump is leading amongst basically all republican demographic groups, tea party, evangelical and moderate. he is ahead onal three. that tells me something. that tells me, he most likely will be, if this continues, the
nominee of the republican party. i can't see how he can be stopped. i'm a conservative democrat. what bothers me, yesterday, is when i watched "meet the press," it was charlie black and alex castelanos. they are part of the cartel. those two guys made me sick. they are the ones and some ultraliberal dem owe krat that created these problems that are fostering in this nation. someone like trump, you won't be able to buy him out. he wants small contributions, he says, and he wants nomoney. i don't believe personally he is that liquid. he is no bill gates or anything like that. these are the things that have to be addressed. china wants to be the number one
power by the year 2049. 100 years after the revolution. it's that washington cartel that helped china go communist in 1949. it is the same entity of these treasonist scum. >> well, thank you. first of all, jack, i appreciate your sentiments. i went to the college of the holy cross just up the road in rhode island in massachusetts. i appreciate a lot of democrats who i think, folks like trump and walker and others your talking to in this election. just before i bamt president of the eagle forum, is was the chairman of the missouri republican party. the process of the party primary system is really broken. you pointed to cass stealth lan knows and charlie black, they are both in the tank for jeb bush. they are actually on the team of jeb bush. they are long-time jeb bush people. suddenly, they are trotted out by the media.
in iowa, we are going to see $150 million spent to campaign a few delegates, not many. there will be very few people turning out to vote in the caucuses. the system is set up to be controlled by big money along with big media. it is a real problem. you pointed something again back to my argument that this is the rack racket stage. i would like to point to china. phyllis and her organization started it before specially soviet communism. she supported reagan when a lot of others weren't. the china question is a huge one. it is a communist nation. they treat the people terribly, poison the environment. more importantly, we have got ourselves in trade deals with them where we are tied to them in a way that is very unhelpful for our families and our future. if you talk to big business leaders, they will tell you that once the early 2000 decisions were made by the bush
administration to allow china into the wto, 2001, after 9/11, the big business guys said we had to deal with china. we are seeing jobs and our way of life shifting. china has a big stick hanging over us. it's a very big problem. any candidate will speak articulately about that threat is very important. that's one of the things we have to do. >> you mentioned your past work before taking over as president in the eagle forum. that included chief of staff for matt blunt, on this program last week if our viewers want to check out that segment last thursday. you also served as executive director for the missouri club for growth and founded missourians for life and served as a legal fellow at americans united. now serving as president of the eagle forum and with us for the next 25 minutes here on the washington journal. mike is up next. sun city, california. line for republicans.
mike, good morning. >> caller: good morning. a quick statement and a question. everyone knows the left controls the media and breaks down one taboo after another. they are guilty of destroying wholesomeness in america by themselves. i have one observation. the left always talks about the liberal democrats, talk about being from the middle class. i guess my crew would be how can you possibly be supportive of the middle class when your whole political philosophy is predicated on bigger government, more bureaucrats and higher taxes. >> i think crony capitalism has creeped in there. it is a real problem. let me stop and talk about the wholesomeness question. eagle forum 1 is focusing on education and empowering parents and making sure our educational system is going in the right direction and right possibilities. we think that common core is one
of the great threats. it is a different name for the central zati central i zation for the american education sis ystem. in the 1960s, phyllis schlafly wrote a book on how to read. it is a primer. i used it for my kids. i'm using it for my soon to be 4-year-old. how to read. our system had gotten so messed up by the people wanting to do sight reading that we needed fon ics. you are seeing across the country the reaction to common core is families and parents and others getting focused on more power for them, back to them and not to just federal government but these bureaucrats and s.a.t. questions. i would say on this wholesomeness question, it will get gary lynn, excited to say,
we are a judeo-christian country. the question of marriage and homosexual marriage, the supreme court deciding by a 5-4 vote to impose that on the land. most people don't understand how we got here. we haven't had a political debate that one side won. we have an imposition by judges, the culture and the media. it is causing huge confusion for our kids and ourselves. eagle forum, our solution is not to be personally attacking people. our solution is more facts, more arguments and more ways to show people what it can mean and to argue for families in charge, families the way we have understood them for thousands of years and give families the opportunity to raise their kids. it is a very difficult thing when american sovereignty. your earlier conversation on immigration. the immigration question is not
just a question of jobs or the economy, it is. it is a question of culture. the people that are coming now are not assimilating, for lots of reason, not assimilating like they were in the last century. that's changing america in a way people are concerned about. >> i appreciate the help with the promotion. starting at 8:30, the reverend barry lynn will be joining us, executive direct for for americas united out with a new book. ed martin is with us, president of eagle forum. he is talking your calls and comments. >> carry, in elkhart, indiana. good morning. >> caller: ed, i wanted to ask. we know, as you said, of the caucuses and all the games that are played done by big money. and with trump, if the kingmakers don't dominate him, don't you think it was a good thing if he wasn't and ran third party and by doing so, do you think we could break the gop,
the establishment of kingmakers up. would this be a good thing? thank you. >> first of all, i and my boss as well as my mentor, phyllis schlafly. we have never subscribed to the third-party theory. you have to go to europe if you like that. here, we have a two-party system. we have to make a change. i think it is a fool's errand to try to encourage that too much. we are at a breaking point in terms of the party structures. both parties are facing that. i didn't know where the conversation would go. maybe it will still go there. the republican party was founded and sort of became a party very quickly over the course of about a year and by two years in, it had elected lincoln. it was founded very specifically to fight by name against slavery and against what they call the twin. i forget the phrase. the twin evils or the twin
problems of slavery and po polygammy. i hope we go to the convention. there are reasons to believe we will be at a convention that's contested and have an argument that the public will look at and say, i like these people's principles, i may not always agree with them but i like their principles and who they are. that will help us win. otherwise, we will not win. i think donald trump is a welcome addition. he is causing people to look up, look at our debates and see what? see a big businessman who says he is republican. governors, a woman who is articulate, an african-american, first-time candidate who is impressive as any person you can imagine i think that is all good. i do think the republican party and i don't know the democratic party well enough, is at a breaking point. if they force, powers that be and the money force a candidate who is the same old echo of the
past, not only will we lose but i think the party will deteriorate. >> who is that candidate that you are hoping doesn't get forced? >> i think the easy way to say this, you see the kasichs and the jebs and the people that look like that. we are not picking someone early. what we are saying, someone like jeb bush, who is, again, as people say, i've never met him but he is probably a great guy and he was a good governor, i suppose but he supports common core and he has not articulated a vision on immigration that recognizes the problem for american families. i was inside the rnc to watch. the plan is to put tons of money into one candidate, decide the candidate early and put your thumb on the scale and tell everybody else to stand down and vote that way. we failed in '08 and we failed in '12. i think we need something fresh for the country. by the way, one of the earlier callers, i meant to reference. there is a movement. we talk about these issues of
wholesomeness. one great failure, to be truthful, is our churches. i happen to be a pro-life, conservative catholic. to articulate a vision about the family. our prot pes tant churches have failed. the response was milquetoast for the 5-4 blow to marriage. we have to challenge ourselves and our faith communities to respond better. guys like barry lynn are having a field day pushing their vision and we are not pushing back very well. >> if you want to join the conversation with ed martin, 220-748-8001, democrats, 748-8000 and independents, 8002. bill is waiting for democrats from kentucky. go ahead. >> caller: my main beef is the fact that the conservative party
has always been for balanced budget. and lower taxes. how much further down do we have to go? we are almost on a race to the bottom. we are 48th in the countries of the world and what we are bringing in now are companies here in the u.s. that don't pay any taxes. they get the money back, like boeing. what's going on? >> hey, martin, what's going on? >> i think that was a broad comment. the threat of government growing and the power of government being used to favor any individual or corporation is a problem. i think the problem with big government is not that it is just only oppressing one or another group. it is that it picks and chooses winners and losers, that sort of
phrase that's thrown around. pretty quickly, americans that are not in the group that can influence winners or losers are in there. your caller makes a fine point. if i can, i would like to shift a little bit. one of the things lost in this massive government growth and government size and scope is a notion of why we have a military and what it means. in the 1980s, phyllis used the term military superiority. it is in the republican platform. it means we are better than the others, in every way we need to be so that when our enemies think about us, they are afraid. when your allies think about us, they are good and supporting. instead, we have a conversation about government, the military that's broader and con vvoluted. we are losing military superiority. my wife said, it makes you proud
to be an american. that's one of the thing that seems to be slipping from us. part of it is the clarity of vision. military superiority. i think we know where we are going. we have to get back to that kind of clarity about who we are as a country and what government is supposed to be doing. >> let's go to rick waiting in detroit, michigan, line for independents. good morning. you are on with ed martin. >> caller: good morning. i would like to address the education problem that you were speaking of a little bit earlier. since the late '50s and moving forward, i think our education has steadily gone down hill. we have had people graduated from, let's say, high school, and moved on to college that can't even write or read or whatever properly and yet they move them on through the system.
the basic problem, we have all these people that are in the voting bloc now too. so here they are with no education really and being allowed to vote. i couldn't get in earlier on the immigration thing. i think the 14th amendment has wording in it that makes it viable is that it says people who reside in a state and people coming across our borders, they may reside in a state. it is a foreign state. >> rick, your first point that you were making before ed martin responded. you are saying that your level of education should be a determining factor in whether you should be able to vote or not. >> well, if you can't read, and you are only listening to
propaganda put out by whatever party, how do you determine who you are really voting for? i think we've seen how the lack of education and the voters that have voted recently in the past election, look at where we are at today. we have a major problem in this country in every area. >> i'll let ed martin respond. >> if you go to our website, eagleforum.org, you will see phyllis schlafly. we do the education reporter and she writes about what's going on in the nea. whether you are a member or not, the nea is one of the strongest unions in the country. i think phillies would say, one of the more destructive in terms of their role. on common core, it is just a new
name for what happens when bureaucrats are in charge of education. they admit this. they are going to be the ones that tell you where your kids can go, whether they are college ready or not college ready. a footnote. if we had a country that was not so quick to go to free trade and export so many manufacturing jobs, we would have jobs like here in st. louis. when they closed the chrysler plant, right after they bailed out chrysler, we lost thousands of jobs that were $60,000, $80,000, $100,000. there should be jobs that be filled by people that have different levels of skills, someone is really good at manufacturing and learning that, that's fine. we don't have those jobs. more importantly for common core and the centralization that's gone on, they try to tell you where your kids can go. it is very common in the soviet
union, europe. in europe, you get to a point and you are told whether your kids can go on this track and that track. that's it. we are less likely to want that for our families. that's what's at stake. i would agree with you that our kids may not be as educated. i don't agree with the point on how you should be able to vote on educational level. that's not something i would support. i do think since the '50s, we have had a change on how our kids are educated. we should be worried about it. the eagle forum has tried to change american history in schools to christian history. they are wrong. >> i think he may be referring to some of the efforts in texas. again, the observations of how markets impact what we do. texas buys the most school text books and so they influence, if they want the textbooks to read a certain way. certainly, in texas and other places, we advocate for an understanding of american history that doesn't shy away from our judeo-christian history
and how that informed the role of the founders in the revolutionary war. you hear the stories about the black rove regimen and about pastors that are pastors and reverend lynn can respond we are fighting the revolution. down through history, people that were using and understanding their judeo-christian nk heritage an maybe their christian heritage to form what they did. that is not something we want to be washed out of history and we want to include it and be proud of it. >> albert, good morning. >> caller: excuse me. this is my second time to be on c-span. i want to direct my comments to what he is saying about our christian country. i am a black african-american republican. i am 87 years old. when you invoke the word christian, look how the minority
has been treated in this country, right up until today. then, as far as the public, if you look back in the history of the '30s, hitler came to power the same way, rabble rousing and getting the country on his house. my point being, how can you mention the church and being christian the way we treated the native americans and the african-americans in this country? >> i happen to be a christian. i think there is room to recognize that when you are a christian, you fail and you ask forgiveness from your god directly or your community. i think america's judeo-christian community but yet we are killing 15,000 plus and tens of millions of african-american babies with abortion. the nation cries out when we are injust. it is fair enough. what i mean is the
judeo-christian culture, western culture that got us here. that's why america exists and why the rule of law is here. we didn't break away from england, because we thought they weren't being friendly or fair. we recognized we could do better and the better we could do was freedom for people to live their lives the way they wanted under the rule of law that where the government wasn't a bully. the government is supposed to protect the basics and allow us to flourish. some of us flourish more or less. that's what judeo-christian heritage has flourished. it is to misunderstand what we are about as a culture and a nation. >> kathy is waiting on our line for democrats. kathy, good morning. >> good morning. how are you this morning? >> caller: good morning. how are you this morning?
>> good morning. you are on with ed martin. >> caller: i was calling about the immigration. i'm from texas. we get a lot of immigration. with he get a lot of illegals here. they come over to work jobs that the americans don't work, because they get paid minimum wage. they don't get any benefits. they don't have to pay taxes, because they are working underneath the table. they get all the other benefits, the food stamps, all the health care, get everything. they are not accountable to pay for the obamacare. they are not accountable for anything like we are accountable for. so who is paying for the immigration laws not being correct? it is not the people that are trying to come over to our country illegally. it's the americans that end up paying for it, the ones that are working hard and trying to pay their taxes and our high school kids can't even get decent enough jobs to get out on their
own, because the minimum wage is solo. . >> ed martin? >> please forgive me if i quote it incorrectly i think it was milton freedman that said, you can't have a welfare state and open borders. it is not conceivable to do it. we need to be frank about that. there are plenty of people that are coming here that are benefiting from being here. again, it is not judgment on their being. it is a description of the facts which then cost you and others and all of us in our government. i would say, i object to your comment that they are doing jobs that americans won't do. i think this is one of the great lies and kind of slurs about america. i know plenty of people that will do work. what it may mean is that businesses may have to pay more to get people to pick strawberries or clean hotel rooms. it is simply not true that americans don't want to work. i would specially point to this absolute disgrace, which is the
h-1 b visas, where the software companies and other companies basically say we have to have engineers come because we can't find them in america. it is a patently false thing to do. what they mean is, they want indian engineers and other nations who they can pay half or two-thirds the salary to. that's outrageous. this is the kind of debate we have to have about immigration. eagle forum has articulated for years, not for the last year but for a decade or more, that we need a pause in immigration, on both illegal for sure but legal immigration. these kind of things are done because of crony cap calism. i forget the company, lucky for them, where they were complaining that they needed more engineers and at another meeting, it was revealed they were laying engineers off. government would reward their
call and their influence. that stuff has to stop. there are a lot of issues that are packed up here. one is not that americans are not going to do the work. they will do the work. we need to be more respectful of our american people and they will do the work. >> time for a few more calls. i would start there. it is eagleforum.org. >> steve, go ahead. >> caller: ed, i like some of your ideas but i think you are way out of touch. the two-party system hasn't worked for the american people. they write the laws. they write the laws per state. if it was open for an independent or some free thinker. see what we have right now? everybody wants donald trump, because he is above you guys. i don't know what it is. i don't know why you can't
listen. you don't listen. you are either paid. we need to remove the capital out of washington, d.c. and move it to north dakota. they made money during the recession. let's just do something different and so donald trump, we are going to vote for him, because you don't have anybody, 17 guys with no new ideas. let's buy mexico. let's just buy mexico. what is it going to cost is $1 trillion? let's buy it. we'll shut down the border. start thinking outside the box. >> ed martin, give you a chance to respond. >> john, real quick, i point to a column i wrote on the daily caller.com. i called it the hunger games plan. it was to move every one of the cabinet level departments to a small city of 50,000 or less. i agree with you. if you like the hunger games movie, the capital is growing and we out in the districts are
feeling more and more kind tension in how we live. the question back to a two-party system, whether you like it or not, i agree with your sentiment, we need fresh ideas and people that are bringing new energy. the system is a two-party system. to run as third party is like constitutional amendments. it is a waste of time. i'm interested in trying to change what's going on. if you want to change what's going on, steve in florida, become a delicate. your voice will have to be heard. you will be there. that can make a difference. we make a practical. eagle forum and one of phyllis schlafly's strengths is to impact what's going on now. we have to change one of the parties and make it more conservative and hope the other party will come along too. >> ed martin is president of the eagle forum. details about the upcoming eagle council, 2015, featuring several
of the presidential contenders. you can also follow them at eagle forum on twitter. thanks so much for your time, mr. martin. >> thanks, john, appreciate it. up next on the "washington journal" wie are going to be joined by reverend barry lynn, author of requested god and government." we'll be right back. >> saturday, august 29 of march the third an-- saturday, august 29th, marks the 10th anniversary of hurricane katrina, one of the five deadliest storms in u.s. history. c-span's coverage begins today at 11:00 a.m. an all day event featuring community leaders.
more at 8:00 with new orleans based poe et cetera, activists and others. tuesday night at 8:00, c-span's tour of new orleans, hurricane damage recovery efforts. at 9:30, a 2005 house hearing featuring new orleans citizens describing their experiences during and after the storms. >> they told us this he would take us to shelters where we could get help and get the seniors to help. they loaded us up on these military trucks. then, they declared the city of new orleans, orleans parish and jefferson parish a war zone and it still didn't sink in we were the prisoners of war. on wednesday night at 8:00, c-span's tour of hurricane damage and recovery at saint bernard parish in louisiana. >> that's your whole life gone, completely, nothing but cement left and rubble. not only your house but your whole community. all your friends, your family, everybody is gone. now, it is going to be a year later and you still, family and
friends, you don't see anymore that you used to see. you don't forget it. you will never forget it the rest of your life. >> followed at 9:00 with a 2005 town hall meeting in new orleans moderated by then major, ray negan. >> i'm relying on you. i know all this is state level, federal level and all other levels. i don't have this. i voted for you to represent me on a local level. i don't know where else to go. i don't know what else to do. >> thursday night starting at 8:00, more from the atlantic conference in new orleans with fema's craig fugate and "new york times" dean mckay and family. we will show you president obama's trip to the region as well as remarks on the recovery effort ten years after katrina. hurricane katrina anniversary coverage all this week on c-span.
the "washington journal" continues reverend barry lynn joins us, president of americans united for separation of search and state. out with a new book "god and government." 25 years for fighting of equality, separtism and freedom of conscious. it touches on your writings, old and new, including this 2002 speech on page 61 in which you said, i don't think the religious right understands that religion thrives best where government takes no sides and offers no help. >> it was a speech. i concluded it to see if anything had changed dramatically from that time to now. it turns out 13 years later, it hasn't. i really think the religious right doesn't understand something fundamental. they don't understand that the history of this country really demonstrates that government works best and religion works best when you keep a decent distance between the two of them. government shouldn't be hostile
to religion. it should accept the claims of religion unless they come in to direct conflict with the claims of someone else and their constitutional rights. i think we are wetter obetter o we keep that decent distance. i said it in 2002. it is still true. >> what is the religious right today and is it different than 25 years ago? >> fundamentally, it is not. it is about 20%-21% of the american electorate. a dramatically reliable statistic. it comes out every time someone like john green does a survey. do you consider yourself a member? it is a very powerful interest group and voting bloc particul-gc in republican primaries. >> what about a very specific interest group, politicians? are they more religious today than 25 years ago? >> i don't think they are more religious but i think they talk about religion more. even if the '50s, politicians
tended not to discuss their personal religious matters. now, we find out recently donald trump's favorite book is the bible. hillary clinton gave that same answer. some mondays ago, her favorite book is the bible. i think that this is indicative of how important it is for politicians to think at least that they are communicating with people by saying, i'm godly and i can prove it, because i read the bible. now other presidents have tried to prove that. george bush tried to prove his favorite bible verse was john 6:13. it is 13:6. he messed it up. howard dean got in a lot of trouble not being able to figure out what the bible watts all about. democrats and republicans have a tendency to want to make sure that any religious voters on
their side know that those candidates are just like them. page 254, democrats are working hard to not get too far behind on the jesus momentum. >> it is absolutely true. this is something that is a bipartisan problem in american politics. frankly, what you should do, something like bill bradley when he was running for the senate and then when he had that abo abortive run for president. he said this is a political campaign. i don't choose to discuss my personal religious beliefs. it is okay if you do. if you pander in your explanation, i think you are making a big mistake. megyn kelly during the debate on fox with the 16 or 17 -- the 10 people there in that part of the debate. she asked about god. i got a lot of notes and complaints. i actually like it when people say, so what do you think about
god? god's relation to your campaign? the folks that night did not give very clear answers but they have in the past. john kasich told "meet the press," how are you going to decide whether to run for president? he said, i'm going to let the lord lead me and tell me what i should do with the rest of my life. he is now running for president. he got the word or at least thinks he got the word that god wants him to run. ben carson said, when he decided to run, he felt the fingers of god. i am not sure what that meant. it clearly meant to him, run. i'm going to be the next president. it goes on and on and on. frankly, if you have four or five people who say in one political party, god wants me to be the next president, there has clearly been a failure to communicate or a failure to understand what the communication was. they all can't be right. >> if you were to join in the conversation, republicans,
202-748-8001, if you have a question or comment for the reverend barry lynn. democrats, 202-748-8,000. independents, 202-748-8002. the book "god and government, 25 years of fighting for equality, sec u larism and freedom of conscience." how often are people surprised to learn you are a reverend? >> frequently, they are. i think they also get surprised that i fight for secularism. there are two kinds. etheeists that are secularists who believe there is no god and those of us who are thee is stick secularists who believe whatever you think about the god question, the existence of purpose in the universe, these kind of questions, we should debate them inappropriate venues. right now, as i said to the american a thee is stick conventions, the thing we, th
theists and not theists, want a clear separation between church and state. >> how did you get into this work? >> after i discovered after working with civil rights and vietnam. one of my roommates said he was going to london. i said, that sounds like fun. he said, it is not. he said, my girlfriend and i have to go to get an abortion. i said, you can't get an abortion in new york state. this is close but not prior to roe versus wade. he said, no. it is just too dangerous here. we have to go to a place where it is legal. this was an eye-opener for me. you mean, powerful religious interests at the time, the rho he man catholic church primarily, had such control that they could tell women exactly what they were permitted to do and what they are not permitted to do with their own bodily integrity. it was a shock to me.
i figured i had a lot to learn and i did learn a lot. most of my life is devoted to the protection of the first amendment. >> viewers can read a lot over this. the reverend barry lynn for the next 45, 50 minutes. we'll start with judy, line for republicans. judy, good morning. >> caller: good morning, sir. i very respectfully disagree with the reverend, because, initially, our stuff came out of magna carta, basically based on a judeo-christian system. murder was murder, theft was theft, adultery was adultery, et cetera. the danger with this slippery slope is that we got roe v. wade in 1973. now, we are looking at it again. gay marriage, the supreme court legislating. i would submit to you, as much as i don't support it if a
religious stand pointed, gay people marrying doesn't kill people. abortion does. i want to know how we got so far away and screwed up out of what most of us would consider outright murder. >> well, juddy, ty, the idea th magna carta is directly connected to the constitution is incorrect is historically incorrect. i think you are fundamentally wrong about that. when we set up the you states constitution, the first thing, article 3, no religious tests for public office and then we amended it with the bill of rights passed by congress, ratified by the states with this clear, unequivocal comment that congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religious or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.
that says congress. we passed the 14th amendment with republicans leading the charge. it was very clear their intend was to apply the bill of rights to the states. so this newfound interest in the 14th amendment on the part of some candidates, maybe they should go back and look at what their own party thought the 14th amendment meant at the time of its ratification. >> to james in rochester, michigan. line for independents. james, you are up next with the reverend barry lynn. >> yes, good morning. my comment is actually a reference to your previous guest who said, very clearly, a couple of times that he feels or his opinion is such that the united states was founded solely on judeo-christian principles. i'm going to prequalify with the understanding i'm a catholic. i don't disagree somehow religion played a role in the founding of the united states but to solely separate
judeo-christian principles as the only basis rubs me the wrong way. i think it marginalizes other religions and ethnicities. i would like your current guests comments on that. >> you are certainly right. there were people were practitioners of farrell conservative christianity. they wanted to make sure this country was not to be considered founded on the christian faith. in one of the early congresses, something was passed called the treat of tripoli to deal with the pirate incident ns the middle east. the senate you nan mustily passed that treaty. it says, this nation, was in no way founded on the christian faith. i am not sure you could get a treaty with that language in it passed the current senate you about you could then and i think it is symptomatic of just how
clear the framers were that they wanted nothing to do with defining the government as having something to do with religion. thomas jefferson, for example, was asked repeatedly, to sign days of prayer and thanksgiving. he rejected those. now, they are routinely passed. they are routinely supported by presidents. but in the days of old, in the good old conservative days, they didn't find it that easy to get even some statement like that approved. jefferson, madison, these people were not interested in having the government help you be profoundly religious. they figured you could do that yourself. >> you called your group a watchdog of church state separation. i want you to talk about what happened after september 11th in your school. the title of that chapter in times of trouble. the watch dags have to park even louder. >> they certainly do. after 9/11 in my son's own high school out in northern virginia,
jesse jackson showed up and gave a speech and, of course, he is jesse jackson, a famous person. she said, sure. do you want to give it today? he did give it today. he used a lot of bible passages and did a lot of praying. one of my son's friends who happened to be hindu said, can he do that? my son said, i don't think so. i'll ask my father. i said, no, of course, he can't. i called the school. his friend's parents also called the school. they admitted. it was a mistake. there is no emergency exception to the first amendment. in other parts of the country, things got even worse. the day of 9/11, a sikh was shot outside of a gas station in arizona, because someone said, look at that, a turban, he must be a muslim and just shot and killed him. >> delores waiting in massachusetts. our line for independents. delores, good morning. >> caller: good morning.
my question is, the universities, the military, and the schools are all pushing islam, the history books being changed, the founding fathers are a lot of our heroes of the past. they are all being demonized. the ten commandments and they are putting up this horrific statue beside the ten commandments resembling the devil. how could they push islam on our children at these public schools which we pay taxes for and not
allow prayer? >> delores, it is a good question. two good questions, actually. as far as pushing islam, number one, i don't think that you can find many high school textbooks that push it in the sense that they are saying this is the one, true faith, something that we did when we had mandatory prayer of a christian nature in public schools until the early 1960s. i think this idea that the textbooks have somehow been excising the founding fathers, emphasizing islam. i think this is empairic cali not true. when they go overboard and try to promote islam, americans united said, wait a minute. you can't do that either. in california, there was an effort to have young people in a high school memorize islamic prayers from the koran and we, of course, hit the ceiling.
imagine if someone had gone back and said to young people, don't forget, remember a prayer from the christian new testament. everybody would have objected. in this case, there was a little concern. maybe we shouldn't do this. for us, it is clear. you have to be 100% in favor of a principle, separation of church and state, mosque and state, temple and state. i'm proud we did that. your reference to the ten commandments monument and the satanic image. this was because this was an open forum. this was opened by the state of arizona to everybody. it was government property. they decided to put the ten commandments monument there and then a group called the satanic temple, which is actually not satan worshippers, they are humanists. they wanted to make a point. the point was important. if you are going to open this to everyone, then you have to open it to us and that's what's happened out there. >> in the classroom, would you prefer that teachers across the
country ignore the role of religion in the history of this world. >> i think it is important in history and litter atour to bring up the bible when good, bad or ugly without bringing up religion. religion has played a role in all kinds of things in this country and indeed around the world. history, if you read faulkner, you have to know who absolum is, you go who's that. you have to use when appropriate an explanation of religious purposes in history and in literature. >> what's an example of an appropriate use? >> i think an appropriate use is when you have a reference from any great southern writer to some bible verse or some bible connection and you say this comes from the christian bible. that's okay. what troubles me is when you decide to have a whole course in just the bible. there are plenty of people promoting it under the theory
that you can't read literature, you can't read shakespeare without knowing about the bible. but you also don't have to have a class in christianity making it appear to be the most important religion in the country. it's one of 2,000 religions in this country, to say nothing of 25 million nonbelievers, atheists, humanists, prethinkers, so we're a very diverse country now. we were always diverse, but never quite this diverse. >> hollywood, florida, is up next. mitchell is waiting, line 4, democrats. mitchell, good morning. >> caller: yes, good morning. reverend lynn, perception i would think would be the key word because we got bad sales and bad promotions. you've got the religious rights conservatives, you've got the rockefeller type, you've got the tea party type, you've got the dixiecrat time, you have those for abortions, the nonabortions, you've got the trump type of conservative, you've got the moderates. so what i'm saying is that to me
with these young people looking at their grandparents, their great grandparents and that h hypocri hypocrisy. hey, look, things change. the change of times tells me these young people will wanting to have separation of church and state because it keeps peace and we've got to think positive for the good of the country. so those hypocrites, i think they cut their own foot or cut their nose to spite their face and this is what's gone on now. you're going to have young people that are going to see it differently. and i believe what we're going to do is move forward versus all of that hypocrisy that caused this country so much hate, so much grief. we're reaping what we sow. >> i think you're absolutely right, we are reaping what we sow. i have been to religious right conferences, many of which i talk about in the book "god and government." when you see the parents of some
of these evangelical young people, hear the polling data from their own pollsters like the barna group which does a lot of polling for evangelicals and they find out that even before the supreme court decision on marriage equality that 44% of millennial, 20 to 30-year-old young people, in fact supported it even before the supreme court did. when this kind of data comes out, 7% higher support for the evidence for evolution, it's like those pollsters are the skunk at the picnic. they are invited to go. they go, they give this information that suggests that the trajectory of the parents who are promoting these ideas, it's not catching on with their very own children. that makes them horrified. it starts to get them more involved in getting government into the business instead of saying wait a minute, maybe we did something wrong by promoting certain things, including for many evangelical millennials, a
sense of hatred. they just think their parents and grandparents hate gay people. that's not a trajectory for the future, that's for the dead past. >> the conferences that you're talking about, you've said as an ordained minister you occasionally mistakenly get invited to some of these conferences. >> sometimes i get mistakenly invited, sometimes i just go and i sign up and people want to take pictures of me. the interesting thing, i was on an elevator at one of the family research council meetings that are held in washington every october, and a woman came on the elevator with me and said, barry lynn. i said yes. she said, i want to take a picture of you so i can take it back to the girls at church. i said i'm happy to do that. i don't charge like $9.95 for that and an autograph, but maybe i should. >> louisville, kentucky, is up next. ann is on the line for republicans. ann, good morning. >> caller: first, i just need to get some clarification from your
guest about, you know, is he a christian minister? >> yes, i am in the united church of christ. >> caller: okay. so you are a christian so that means that you are a follower of jesus christ, correct? >> this is correct. >> caller: my question to you is as a minister, that is a leadership role. you are there to minister to the people and to guide them in what christianity is. my next question is then as a christian, do you believe that abortion is okay? do you believe that it is okay for a woman to have an abortion under any circumstances? >> yes, i do. >> caller: i do have more follow-ups to that but i don't want to get cut off. >> i do think that abortion is a moral prerogative of each -- every individual woman at any time in her pregnancy. >> caller: i'm not saying -- i'm not asking the question if you think it's aw81÷ prerogative, i asking a question if you as a person believe that abortion is
okay to take the life of an innocent baby in the womb? do you believe that that is okay? that baby is not -- that baby has no rights, it has no right to life and that that is okay to take that life of a baby, an unborn baby? do you think that's okay as a minister? >> i do, because i don't think it is a baby. i think that we are talking about a nacent life, a possible life. we are not talking about a fully human life. and in fact not only do i believe that, the early church believed that, ann, you would think since abortion was known in bible times that jesus might have made a comment about this if it had been that important to him. he did not. the only thing we know for sure from the jewish and christian scriptures is that abortion is not the equivalent of murder because the penalties imposed in ancient israel were different for the two acts. that's all we know. >> ann, do you have one more follow-up for barry lynn?
>> caller: i just want to say i believe he is very misguided. i don't believe he deserves to have the right as a reverend or minister because clearly he's not teachings of jesus christ. i would like to ask him right now as he's sitting there. of course it's a hypothetical, but if jesus christ were to come down and have a seat at the table with him, if he could look at jesus and say, yes, that's not really a human being, we don't know what that is and it's okay for that life to be taken. and i believe that this is all about him, it's all about -- i believe he's a charlitan and him trying to get fame and fortune for himself because i don't believe anybody that takes that title because i don't believe jesus christ would accept that taking the life of a human being is okay, it's not okay. >> let's let barry lynn respond. >> if jesus were here, i'm sure we'd have a conversation and i'd give him the same answer i just
gave to you. it's not just me. there are whole religious organizations and religious leaders and many denominations and many of those religions that exist in the united states that would agree with my view of this. again, jesus did not mention abortion. he could have. he mentioned a lot of other things. there's no recorded evidence that he said a word about this topic. >> sandy has a question about something that happens near every day at least when the house is in session after this program. reverend lynn, why do you permit every day in congress to begin with a prayer from a reverend. are you suing to stop that practice? >> there was a lawsuit to stop that practice and i thought, frankly, that i might have been making some progress on this outside of the courtroom when the republicans took over the congress, newt gingrich became the speak of the house, bob livingston was a major player at that time from louisiana. and i remember being on a radio show with livingston.
i said, you know, you're cutting all these programs. you're cutting the number of elevator operators. what about the chaplain? the chaplaincy in both houses was costing about $350,000 a year at that time. he said, well, he would think about that and this got a lot of attention. then newt gingrich came in and told "the new york times" a few weeks later, we've abandoned that possibility. we're not going to use volunteer chaplains. chaplains of every denomination, they're all over capitol hill. they could have saved all that money. but he said it would look bad for us if we did that. it would look like we are anti-religion. well, i'm sorry, but it looked like you were pro-constitution if you used volunteers. you start spending tax dollars on something like christian prayers, then you violate the constitution. unfortunately, very few people of standing, that's a technical word for the ability to go into court to challenge practices like that, so it continues to
this day. in my judgment look at the prayers, look at what they apparently accomplish as a legislative matter and then tell me is this evidence prayer works or maybe that it doesn't. >> we've got about a half hour left with the reverend barry lynn. the book of "god and government, 25 years of fighting for equality, secularism and freedom of conscience." if you want to call in. jeffrey has been waiting from michigan. line for democrats. jeffrey, good morning. >> caller: good morning, reverend lynn. i have a lot of respect for you, sir. i listen to you a lot. >> thank you. >> caller: the guy that was on before you called nothing but a hypocrite, you know, he says no matter how many black babies was aborted. he never mentioned white people getting abortions. these kind of people are really liars. how can you -- how can you be a christian and you hate people?
how can you be a racist and you call yourself pro-life. that's what i don't understand. i think christianity is about love. love your fellow man. it ain't about hate. you know, we've all been babies. but what they are, when the baby is in the womb, they love it so much and then when they're born, you don't deserve health care, you don't deserve a decent living. those kind of people -- the democrats have let these folks take over. they're liars, they're hypocrites. there's a couple other comments i want to make. here in my city i know a lady that had 18 kids. my wife is not going to have 18 kids. but i wonder if they want their wives to have 18 kids. second one, they are -- they are so protective of the unborn,
they want to take away women's rights. women's right is a private thing. >> jeffrey, you bring up a couple of topics. i'll let barry lynn jump in. >> this is a clash of a so-called right, the right of fetuses to be born versus the right of women to make a choice, an important choice for their personal development, for their integrity, for their future and employability. it would be nice if everything worked perfectly in this country, but as barney frank used to say, the religious right tends to worry about life only from the moment of conception until the moment of birth. the only clarification i would add is they also care about the so-called moment of natural birth, which is why they so strongly oppose any kind of intervention, even in circumstances like the famous case of mrs. terry schiavo when
they simply said you cannot withdraw life-sustaining treatment and many of us said it's not life to begin with -- >> natural death. >> they call it natural death, hooked up to machines, apparently it's okay to call it natural death. but these are folks who really want to control every moral decision of your life from the point of conception to the point of so-called natural death and then pretty much every minute in between. and that is not consistent with the fundamentals of american democracy. >> louisville, kentucky, is up next where mary is waiting on our line for republicans. mary, good morning. >> caller: good morning. i think one of the undertones i'm hearing here is a very fervent effort to -- there's a difference between freedom -- the free exercise thereof of a person's religion and freedom from religion. i'm hearing super human efforts for the freedom from religion.
we're -- you know, the amendment gives us -- i mean the bill of rights gives us extremely wide latitude to exercise our religion. and what i'm hearing is that there's just so much pushback that it's a consistent struggle to maintain that space that we were afforded. we weren't really afforded that by the bill of rights. the bill of rights is just a backstop, a guarantor of a right that predates that. so as far as i'm concerned, religion should be given the most wide berth and the opposing side should have to bend over backwards to prove that that berth should be narrowed. >> it's an interesting theory, but i don't agree with it. i don't think that it's historically correct.
the bill of rights is there for a purpose. it's because the original -- so-called original constitution didn't have a bill of rights and there were people who said i might be willing to ratify this, but i sure would like a bill of rights. of course freedom of religion, both the freedom to be protected from the imposition of somebody else's religion and the free exercise clause are put in the first amendment in order to guarantee both. now, when it comes to freedom to practice your religion, i would assume you don't agree that everybody with every religious belief has the right to practice it because in some cases it has a very detrimental effect on someone else. so when in recent years there was a bill passed in congress, the religious freedom restoration act, i supported it at the time. ted kennedy was a major sponsor. bill clinton signed it. we thought this was a guarantor of the very things you're talking about.
if a firefighter, for example, wants to wear a quarter inch beard or a prisoner wants to wear long hair because he's a native american, we thought that that piece of legislation would help guarantee the success of any lawsuit they filed, and it has. the problem is about a year ago in a case called hobby lobby, five members of the supreme court, and this is the law, five people win when you have a nine-person court said that even for-profit companies like hobby lobby, the people who sell crafts and do-it-yourself pink flamingo kits which are not religious icons, those companies have the right to exercise religion. that is a preposterous idea, and they were trying to exercise it by saying we'll give you health insurance, you women employees, but we will not cover certain kinds of contraceptives. that's another example where modern evangelical millennials disagree with their parents.
there's overwhelming support for the idea that if you're a private company and you have insurance, you have to cover contraception. >> lancaster, south carolina, is up next where ken is waiting on our line for independents. ken, good morning. you're on with the reverend barry lynn. >> caller: yes. could you give me a minute, please. i don't usually call in about a topic like this, but i want to say something about -- he mentioned something about the 14th amendment. i don't think it's fair for one specific group, most low the hispanics, to come over here and have citizenship by being born here. it's killing the black community and the poor white community competing for jobs. on church and state, he made a statement that jesse jackson's son in high school, he was speaking of bible versus. he should have left the place. you can't say prayer in school. if you don't like it, why don't you just say, well, i'm going to
leave until it's over with. in other countries if you try -- in other countries -- go to saudi arabia and try to preach christianity all over and see what to you. we're a country that's giving in. that's why we're headed down the wrong path. one question for you, minister. would you marry a gay couple? >> yes. in fact the united church of christ was one of the first religious denominations to agree and to provide assistance for people who wanted to perform same-sex weddings, so we've been doing that historically, particularly in those states that had ratified same-sex marriages long before the supreme court decision in june of this year. but i think going to saudi arabia, ken, is not an example that we ought to be holding up. saudi arabia has a miserable treatment of women. saudi arabia has a miserable treatment of non-muslims. we all know that.
we should be better than that. this should be a country that promotes the idea that when diversity is real and it's here, we need to celebrate it and not start curtailing it. and the idea that if you don't like it, just leave, it just -- it's sounds like a forgotten -- luckily forgotten piece of our past involving race. we don't want to serve black people at this restaurant, but, you know, we don't mind if they go next door. this is not the way we function. comfort level is not a constitutional standard, and we shouldn't be in a position of forcing people to make a decision about leaving a classroom, leaving an assembly or leaving a restaurant because somebody else doesn't like what they say. >> north carolina is up next, gerald is waiting on our line for democrats. gerald, good morning. >> caller: reverend lynn, c-span america, good morning. how are you on this wonderful day? >> we're good.
>> caller: outstanding. i'm a disabled vietnam veteran so please allow me just enough time. first of all, i must disagree that prayer is taught in school. sunday school, not public school. second of all, when politics when they bring religion, most of these politicians violate, i believe, the ninth commandment of bearing false witness and nobody says a word. the third thing about the abortion. they're ready for the forced birth or make the woman a child factory but once they force her to have that child, they forget about her and don't take care of nothing else. and that reminds me that it's a 1966 decree where they forced every woman to have at least five kids. one last thing here, these christians should practice what i believe st. francis asissi used had to. he said everywhere i go i preach the gospel. sometimes i use words. i'm here at ft. bragg, the home of the 82nd special operations.
i wish for all those who protect and serve this great country of ours, god speed on your endeavors and our prayers are with you and your family. america, y'all have a great day. >> thank you. say amen to that, literally, secularly, whatever. we represented at americans united these extraordinary widows in a case involving the refusal temporarily during the bush administration of the veterans administration to allow wickens, pagans to have their emblem of honor on head does the sto -- headstones going back to the korean war, to the vietnam war and to iraq and afghanistan. and for some reason the president at the time did not believe that wickens were a legitimate religion. he said that once on television so all of his underlings said we
can't grant to wickens a five-pointed star and a circle and we had to sue the veterans administration in order to get this. humanists had an emblem, atheists had an emblem. when it came to these folks, they said, no, we won't do that. we won. we didn't even have to go to a full trial because the justice department said we can't defend this position. once you give emblems of honor to everyone but one group, when the one group comes calling, you have to give it to them as well. >> one of the issues that you bring up in your book is concerns about politicking in churches. when it comes to a tax-exempt church, in your mind what crosses the line and what is politicking? >> the good news is when we complain about politicking in churches, we don't go to any gray areas. if somebody stands up in a pulpit and says vote pro-life, that's not our concern.
we're worried about things where someone says the president, like this happened in north carolina last election cycle, president obama is a baby killer and a gay lover and then went on to explain why you couldn't possibly vote for him. this goes way over the line. it's clear who you're supposed to be voting for. we had one incident where a pastor said on a sunday morning, the polls open on tuesday. if you need a ride to the polling place, come to the church. we'll take the church bus and we'll drive you to the polling place. but it turned out that on tuesday, election day when people got there, they were asked who they were going to vote for and in that instance if you happened to say democrat, they said you can't get on the bus. these are so far over the line, and the basis for all of this is a provision of the tax code that says 501 c 3 groups, all
churches are that automatically, don't have to do much to get it, you can't endorse or oppose a candidate for public office. but people say we see this all the time. we get dozens of complaints every year. there's a whole campaign to do this by a religious right group in arizona. about six years ago a federal judge said, well, you have to change one sentence in an irs regulation in order to begin these investigations. it was just a matter of naming the title of the person who could start audits based on these violations of law. six years have passed. they did what is technically rule making here in washington. you put out proposals and then hundreds of people write you their responses. so five and a half years later, there's been no change. there has not been in this administration a single effort to investigate, much less penalize in some way a group that has so clearly gone over the line in endorsing or
opposing a candidate for public office. >> and why do you think that is? is it too politically -- >> i think it's politically hot because there are these social welfare organizations, a slightly different kind of tax exemption, and it's very vague there. you're not supposed to do a substantial amount of your work on electing candidates. but c 3 is absolute, it's zero tolerance. you can't endorse or oppose candidates, period, with church resources. this is -- you know, the famous story about the monkeys who if you give an infinite number of monkeys an infinite number of typewriters, ultimately they'll type out the works of shakespeare. this is not that difficult. you can put five monkeys, five word processor in a room, they'd fix that sentence now and be halfway through hamlet. this is not rocket science, changing the health care system or figuring out what to do in the middle east.
this is simple. it hasn't been done and it's really disgraceful. >> summerfield, north carolina, is up next. mark is on the line for republicans. mark, good morning. >> caller: good morning. i've got two questions actually. number one, when in your religion do you believe that a person or an individual has a soul? at what part of their life do they have a soul? >> i don't know that in my religion any one person who is a member of that religion could give you an answer to that question. i am happy to make it possible for every woman to make her own moral judgment about two things. is there a soul there and to what degree does the fact that there's a soul there mean i should not obtain an abortion. that's what we'd call hard core choice. that's hard core representation of what you believe and putting what you believe into practice.
i would never want to tell anybody, a, when the soul is there or, b, whether that means you can't have an abortion. >> mark, did you have a second question? >> caller: i do. you know, you seem to be centering completely on conservative ministers. i think you're really wrong on history. if it weren't for the african-american churches and their ability to organize themselves within their churches, that was their safety zone. that's where they were able to organize. and they organized politically. the civil rights movement would have never been what it was had it not been for the leadership from a political point of view of black ministers throughout the south. and according to what you're now saying, you would think that they would not have enjoyed their tax-exempt status. >> mark, you're right about that. the organizing effects within the safe places in the
african-american community in the '50s and '60s were the churches. reverend dr. martin luther king, for example, spoke in a church or a synagogue or someplace almost every day of his professional life, but his close confidant and friend, john lewis, who's now a member of congress from the state of georgia has told me and many other people on many occasions dr. king never endorsed a candidate for public office. never did so. why was that? because he understood that that was not the role of the church. he talked about issues, he talked about why you needed to pass the 1964 civil rights act. he understood those civil rights principles. no one is suggesting that any church, including the most conservative in america, can't talk about issues. what they can't do is endorse or oppose candidates for public office. >> jerry is waiting on the line for democrats. good morning, jerry. >> caller: good morning.
reverend, mr. barry lynn, reality is christianity. christianity is reality. jesus christ is the spirit of life. satan is spirit of death. it's a test. we're in the test. we all are. when you say what you say as regards abortion, you are correct in principle. however, god is judge always. we are not to judge, just like you said about martin luther king. he was not a judge, he was a very, very spirit-filled man. spirit of life. who took him, the spirit of death. reality is reality and religion is babble. babble is confusion. history never changes because the word never changes. >> jerry, do you have a
question? >> caller: that's my question is, is why do we keep speaking about religion when religion is babble? spirit of life is jesus christ. reality is christianity. >> got it. barry lynn. >> no, i got it too. i hear you and i think a lot of people accept that idea. but i think we have to recognize that we are not alone as christians in this country, that we have these 2,000 religions and 25 million atheists and free thinkers. they're all first class citizens. and i think that's the bottom line for americans united. if you're going to be living in this country, if you're a person in this country, you deserve to be treated just as well as anyone, including jesus christ as my savior believers. there is a lot of religious babble, there's certainly no question about that, and it comes from the right and the left and sometimes from the middle. but our constitution says we have to make decisions based on
the commonly accepted principles of the constitution itself. they're pretty good ideas, freedom of speech, equal protection under the law. these are the things that ought to matter. i have a book on my desk that's hundreds of pages long called "politics according to the bible." here is a guy who has a biblical explanation not just about why marriage equality is wrong and abortion is wrong and contraception is wrong, but how the economic system ought to operate, what airplanes the air force should buy for its next round of fighter jets. he has proof texted everything in the bible. frankly, i'm not buying a lot of that and i don't even -- when i preach a sermon, i ask people could i talk about something other than separation of church and state because i don't want to go back and say, wait a minute, jesus said according to the book of matthew go into a closet and pray. do not be a hypocrite because if you go into the closet and pray privately, then my father will answer your prayers because
that's proof texting too. i want to go back to the constitution, not to the bible passages that happen in my view to support my beliefs. >> so question from k.p. potatoes on twitter. if the united states is designed secular, why are churches, synagogue, mosques, tax exempt? nonbelievers are forced to pay default taxes for that. >> it's a good question. i think that our membership is deeply divided about this. one of the realities is if you take a property-rich church in any of america's inner cities and all of a sudden taxed it, you would find that they don't have the income now this late in the game. they have been tax exempt for almost 200 years. they would go broke and it would be the power to destroy the institution of the church. but if we were to start over, i can see no reason to guarantee an auto tax exemption for every chump, every religiously affiliated hospital, and i think the question is a good one, but
we've almost crossed that rubicon and it may be too late to go back without destroying, literally destroying lots of inner city churches to say nothing of small rural churches. >> so you'd argue the way to go forward is enforcing the politicking issue. >> let's enforce politicking. let's make sure that these churches, by the way, do not get government funds for their programs. the obama administration, or barack obama when he was a candidate in 2008 said that george bush's faith-based initiative would have to be changed. he said i wouldn't want to do away with it. this is the idea that you give money to churches to do good works but we would get rid of the provision that says if you get government grants or contracts, you have to employ everyone. you can't have a religious litmus test in order to hire, and people said that makes sense and a majority of people in the country believe that's the right posture. but now just last week we helped
organize a letter with 130 signers, civil rights, civil liberties groups all over washington asking the president to do what he had said he would do in 2008 and not give money to people who are basically religious bigots. we won't hire you. to his credit a year ago, barack obama signed an executive order that said if you get a government grant or a contract, you can't discriminate on the basis of sexual orientation. so now he has a bizarre system where if you are a lesbian, you can't be discriminated against. that's good. but if you're a lesbian jew or a lesbian atheist, somebody can get the money and say, oh, we're not discriminating against you on the basis of sexual orientation, we're discriminating against you at this baptist facility because you're an atheist. this makes no sense. this is why all of these groups
have said to the administration just clean this up. this is the biggest stain on the civil rights of the obama administration and nothing has happened in all these years. again, very simple. just change a few paragraphs of an old bush executive order and you've fixed the problem and you brought integrity to the idea that religious discrimination is always wrong. and it's even worse with tax money involved. >> let's head out to california where dena is waiting on the line for republicans. you're on with barry lynn. >> caller: yes, hello. i've got a question for you. i strongly believe in the separation of church and state. and most americans agree with that. most americans agree with the bill of rights. but at the beginning of the bill of rights, the way i understand it and the way i was taught this whole bill of rights is that it
says we have god-given, unalienable rights and then it lists the rights. and it says those rights are coming from god. well, i personally don't really believe that those rights came from god, they came from the people that were writing the bill of rights. they were given to us from the government. the bill of rights weren't given to us by god. where did they even get that idea from? and so would you take out or would you agree with me or would you be in favor of taking out the phrases or the god language that exists in the constitution? >> dana, are you talking about the declaration of independence? we hold these truths to be self-evident that men are
created equal and that they are endo youed with their creator with certain unalienable rights, among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness? is that what we're talking about? >> caller: i'm talking about that and it seems that somewhere it talks about how we were given these rights by god. i just -- i just feel like it's important to take all of the god language out of the constitut n constitution. >> yeah, dana, i think what john is trying to point out is that that language or something like it, as he quoted it, is in -- not in the constitution, not in the bill of rights, it's in the declaration of independence. it's very vague there. and of course there's a whole book that was written called the godless constitution. the point is by those authors is god specifically not mentioned in the constitution. and they would argue for a reason, because they wanted any
prior documents, all the ones that have been referenced, the magna carta, declaration of independence, that those are not the basis of the constitutional rights for this new country, the united states. god is not in the constitution. god shouldn't be in the constitution. back in the '40s and '50s there were efforts to put a jesus amendment into the constitution. that always failed. and frankly, you're right in principle. the rights that are given in this country come from a document, but that document, dana, doesn't mention god. >> columbia, tennessee, is up next. will is on our line for independents. will, good morning. >> caller: good morning there, c-span. so proud of the program you all provide for the public. i know it's an open window for all of the american citizens to see what our government is really doing. >> appreciate that, will. go ahead. >> caller: he's doing a lot of injustice and really shouldn't have reverend before his name,
unfortunately. he should realize that even jesus said when the young approached him, he said good master. he said who are you calling good? only one is good, that's god. the thing about it is you've got to realize something. this is holy. what you're talking about is holy. god is holy. everything about the word and about his plan of salvation is holy. and what you need to realize is what you're speaking here is profanity against the holiness of god. now, if you are a christian like you say, you should have the holy spirit beating you to death right now because the holy spirit is in everyone who declares themself a christian and son of god. what you need to also realize is that elizabeth, she was old in age, could not have a child. who gave her that child? god. god gave her that. guess what, that little child spoke. how did it speak? it kicked the wall of its mother
as soon as seen the son of god, it kicked the wall of the mother and rejoiced inside the mother's womb. do you understand what that means, sir? >> i understand what the story means and what it means to you, but i don't think it has anything to do with the questions of abortion or contraception. it's interesting, will. the argument that you're making to me was ironically made to me by a united states congressman named louis gomert from the state of texas when i was testifying on the state of religious freedom in america. i started by saying there's a dizzying level of religious freedom in america. the people with the most problem practicing it are people in minority religious groups, people who are nonbelievers, they are not christians, born again or otherwise. congressman gomert during his five minutes to question me started to ask me, well, do you promote that jesus christ is the only way to heaven?
i know he was sitting on a panel of the judiciary committee with at least two jewish members and one buddhist member. and this was an interrogation not from you on television, which is perfectly fine, but from an elected official using the tax money and taxpayers' time to interrogate me about religion. i don't think that that's appropriate. i think congressman gomert is a walking, talking example of why we need the separation of church and state in this country. >> have you ever been too quick to jump on a separation of church and state issue? in the book you talk about your daughter praying at lunchtime. >> my daughter, when he was in kindergarten or first grade over a spaghetti dinner one night, she said when i prayed today, and i immediately was horrified. i said oh, my goodness, she's in a public school. i will have to file a lawsuit. i will have to raise this whole issue. so i interrogated her. i said, christina, do you --
somebody like on the school staff tell you when to pray? she said no. i said how about the cafeteria lady, did she tell you now's the time to pray? she said no. i said, well, then why did you pray? and she said, well, because we always pray over meals and i was just doing it to thank god for the food. which is a very good thee logically sensitive answer and meant that she was doing what every child can do. pray in private, pray in school, pray visibly, but not expect the government to help you by telling you this is the time to pray, these are the subjects to pray about. go for it. >> let's see if we can get in pat waiting in huntington, west virginia. line for democrats. pat, go ahead. >> caller: hello. i just wanted to reach two groups today. christian religionists and the politicians. to the christian religionists, two things that i'd like to
point out. christ said if you broke one of these laws, you broke them all. and all of those sins, even the smallest one, and we all do that at one time or another, nailed him to the cross, according to the christian religion. he said his kingdom is not of this earth. and i'm going to tell you what christ in his own words said about government here on earth. he said you would think these leaders were moses. they load you with impossible demands that they themselves don't even keep. everything they do is for show. they love to sit at the head table in reserved seats and have deference paid to them in the streets. whoa to you hypocrites, you pretend to be holy with your speeches and public prayers while you're evicting widows from your many homes. he said yes, sir, you snakes, you sons of vipers, how shall you escape the judgment of hell. he doesn't want anything to do with these governments here on
earth. he will replace them all some day and that is what is really in the bible if you study it. >> well, good points. and of course there are plenty of people in washington, i certainly can't say every politician, but a lot of politicians who say, you know, we read the bible, we have a selective interest in explaining how the bible is relevant to making policy. but hypocrisy, unlike contraception, heterosexual or homosexual marriage, hypocrisy is a sin in the christian bible. these other things are not. >> reverend barry lynn, his new book "god and government, 25 years for fighting for equality, secularism and freedom of conscience" out now. appreciate your time. >> thank you, terrific. up next we'll talk about the push by some student athletes to unionize and a recent decision by the national labor relations
board that represents a major setback to that effort. we'll be right back. tonight on "the communicators" this summer marks the 25th anniversary of digital television. mark tayer talks about the development of the medium in the early 1990s. >> and then in june of 1990, so almost exactly 25 years ago, cbs convinced us we should submit it
to the fcc for consideration as the next generation u.s. terrestrial broadcast standard. we weren't quite sure we wanted to do that because warp really satellite and cable guys and didn't have a whole lot to do with the terrestrial broadcast network business, but we ended up doing that. so all of a sudden in june of 1990 our cover was blown what we were doing. and at first everyone said it was impossible what we were claiming. but sure enough, a year or so later, all of our competitors were essentially following us and it became a real race. >> tonight at 8:00 eastern on "the kmurktcommunicators" on c-. "washington journal" continues. >> dave jamison is a labor reporter with the huffington post and has been follow this effort of some northwestern university football players to unionize. it suffered a major setback last week. explain what this ruling was and
why it's considered such a setback. >> last year the northwestern football players filed a pe fission for a union election. their essential argument was that they are employees of the school. the basic idea is that a scholarship constitutes a form of payment for work rendered. as they noted, there is many requirements they have as football players. there's lots of things they have to do and there's quite a workload that comes along with it. so they claimed that they were employees and they wanted to join a labor union. this was a big setback from the board last week. originally a regional director for the board determined that they were employees and he gave the green light for an election to go forward. this time around, the board in washington, one step up, simply declined to assert their jurisdiction in the case. what that means, the long and the short of it is that northwestern players are not going to unionize. they did vote. they did have their union election. those ballots were impounded and
now we'll actually never know what the results are. so the board -- it sort of amounted to a big dodge. i had one lawyer describe this razz a 75-yard punt that landed on the 1 yard line and stopped there. the board sort of dodged the basic question here whether or not these players are employees. they simply decided that it was not in the players' interests or the board's interest to assert their jurisdiction. they felt like they would upset the apple cart. >> was this a surprise from the nlrb? aren't they considered to have a liberal majority? >> frankly i thought this ruling was going to go the players' way. they do have a liberal majority, it's three democrats and two republicans. liberals in general, i think, are more disposed to the argument that these players are making. there was a lot of politics behind this. i don't -- i can't speak to what was going through the board members' minds but this was potentially politically explosive. you already had members of congress weighing in on this,
republicans in particular saying this would be disastrous if players could unionize. and congress -- congress funds the labor board. so had they given the go ahead for these players and granted in the end northwestern a union, i think the politics of this would have been very, very big and it would have brought the whole board under a lot more scrutiny. >> we're talking about this topic for about the next 20, 25 minutes or so here at the end of our show today on "the washington journal." dave jamison of the huffington post is our guest. a special flien current and former college athletes. we'd like you to weigh in if you're watching this morning. we'd love to get your thoughts on this unionization effort. on these players who were trying to unionize, what were they trying to bargain for? >> it's important to point out here that these players were not
asking for wages, they were not asking for money, not at this point anyway. they had two big stated concerns. one being a guarantee of scholarships. unless a conference or a school or a state has done otherwise, it's still possible for a player to get hurt playing football, basketball, or whatever sport and lose their scholarship as a consequence of that and a lot of people view that as unfair. that was one of the goals of this campaign. another related to medical coverage. a lot of players, not surprisingly, want to know that if they get hurt while playing for their school that if they have lingering medical issues that go beyond their time playing for that school, that that is going to be covered. so that was another big issue for them. again, they were not asking for payment, although a lot of people felt like the possibility of wages and money -- wages entering college sports was sort of the undercurrent of this. >> the headline in the "huffington post" in the story that dave jamison and travis
walled ron worked on. northwestern football players won't get a union but their fight doesn't end here. explain the second part of that headline. >> this is the end of the road for the northwestern players, this group. it's not the end of the unionization efforts in college football and it's certainly not the end of larger legal battles as it relates to pay and the general treatment of these athletes. a few things could happen here. you know, the board -- when the board said they're declining to assert jurisdiction, not to get too deep into the weeds here, but the central issue here was northwestern being a private school. the labor board and federal labor law covers the private sector. that was the basis for these players filing their petition. but the vast majority of schools and big-time college sports are public schools. and public schools would be subject to the collective bargaining laws in those individual states. so really you're just talking about a handful along with
northwestern that would be private schools and big-time college football. so the board said if we grant, you know, this one union effort here in northwestern, it could really upset things in a broader field where most -- where we have no jurisdiction at all. so that was -- that was the main reason for why they decided to step back. now, one possibility here is that maybe a state does come along and grant collective bargaining rights to athletes in some fashion. i personally think that's pretty unlikely. again, this goes back to the politics. you know, it's conceivable that a liberal state, maybe california, would be -- there would be people disposed to doing that, but the politics of this get very heated. and i don't know who, what governor or what state labor board would really want to wade into that. >> let's get to the calls. john is waiting in rhode island on our line for democrats. john, you're on with dave jamison of the "huffington post." >> caller: good morning. i think the state of athletics today at the college level
especially in football is nothing more than in my view another cynical form of slavery. there was a former brown university president who once said to the chagrin of the big institutions, let's stop the hypocrisy, have all universities declare either they're going to be absolutely amateur in nature, thereby requiring all the academic standards from the entry level to the graduation process and/or declare that you are in a pro league, in which case you did not have to have any standards whatsoever academically, separate locations where -- dorms where the football players would live and then put the product out on the field for what it is. and if they chose to go to class
and wanted to matriculate and eventually get a degree in whatever matter or subject matter, fine. but i think that's where it's at. to me they're nothing more than minor leagues for professional teams. it just -- they should be paid. they are used as far as i'm concerned essentially, especially in the big, big schools and the big programs as slaves. >> that's john in rhode island this morning. dave jamison, the sort of system that he describes there, is that possible in this environment? >> well, first off, a lot of people share that caller's perspective. a lot of people now are increasingly feeling like this idea of amateurism in college sports is kind of a sham, especially when you're talking about college football and basketball where you have billions of dollars of revenue coming into these schools for, let's face it, this is a lot of work goes into putting your football season together.
and a lot of people now are feeling like it's kind of ridiculous to argue that when you watch a big bowl game that these players are there primarily to go to class. i think we can all agree that when you are playing football for alabama on a huge state, what probably brought you there is playing football, not an economics major. so there's a lot -- this union effort is stalled for now but there are other legal things going on where we may end up closer to a system like the one the caller described. there's antitrust suits going on. there's a lot of other avenues here, legal avenues where eventually this could open the door up to some kind of payment. >> let's put some numbers to the big-time revenues that we've been talking about. specifically for the top college football programs in this country, here is a selected look at their revenue from 2013 to 2014. university of texas, $113
million in revenue in that season. alabama $95 million. michigan $91 million, lsu 88 million, notre dame $81 million, auburn $75 million, tennessee $70 million. those numbers from forbes put together. we're talking about dave jamison of the "huffington post" a labor reporter about this unionization effort. we have a special line if you're a current or former college athlete. 202-748-8003. otherwise lines for republicans, democrats and independents. on that independents line, dan is waiting in massachusetts. dan, go ahead. >> caller: yes. i was curious to know that when players enter, you know, schools from a high school setting they get, you know -- they're not paid but they get tuition paid,
if you will, for their ability. some are free scholarships for the whole term that they're there, some get small dollar amounts for the terms that they're there. how does that play into being unionized in the sense that some kid from some rural high school gets full schauolarship, which means they're kind of paying his tuition to play, because they feel he's good. but what about the average kid that they go and they give them a small piece of the pie. he sits the bench. so my follow-up question is when they get unionized, how does all that play into who gets what as a player? they all get -- and i'm just throwing numbers out. they all get $3,000 a week because they're playing sports and the guy that's riding the bench being paid less or the
same as someone who is unbelievable, who is going to have a pro career. you know, i have boys that play football and i always say to them, they're going to get picked in the draft to play profession professional ball. to be unionized, i'm not sure that's the way to go. i like the caller just prior to myself coming on about, you know, that they have got to be there for an education and i think there should be standards that are held. and i think it should be public what the standards are and how they're progressing through college instead of goingo#vwz t and not going to class or, you know, being rifled through because he is an unbelievable receiver. >> dan, thanks for the call. he brings up a couple of hypotheticals there of how it would work under a unionized
system. can you talk through some of that or do we know the answers yet? >> well, the short answer is we don't know because we're not there yet so it's very hard to say. but he did bring up an interesting dynamic. one thing a union contract tends to bring, whether you're talking about a factory or a warehouse or probably a college football team is there tends to be some kind of pair parity. if there were a union contract in place, you would not have individual players bargaining for salaries with their teams. that wouldn't happen because they would all be under contract. so there would be probably some sort of -- it would probably be -- there would be equity -- equitable within certain teams. that's very different from sort of the full-blown free market that a lot of people want to see in college football. like this antitrust case that's now moving forward. basically they're saying that, you know, it's -- that it's illegal to be capping payment at
a scholarship under the current system. they're saying that the market should be fully blown, fully wide open so that a payer would get what they're worth on the free market. that's very different from what you would see under a union contract. >> let's go to that line for le former or current college athletes and bernard is waiting on that line and st. petersburg, florida. go ahead. >> yes, i want to say i agree very much with the gentlemen and the schools trying to unionize. i was a former basketball player in college and they should pay a stipend for some of these athletes. you can't work. you have to go to college and you have to be up early in the morning at 5:00 a.m. in the morning to go to practice and then you get your breakfast and then you have to go to class and after class you have to come back for practice and then you're required to make sure that you get some kind of clinical study. these guys are working not just part of the day, but all day and you're trying to graduate. so what i'm just saying is you can't work. you don't get any kind of money
especially some of these athletes whose family can't help them and they see these billions and millions of dollars being paid through the coaches where the coaches if they want to change schools they can move through another school without being criminalized whereas with an athlete you can't do that. so i'm just saying that the multiple, billions of dollars being garnered through sports and these athletes just can't make any kind of money to go out to clubs. they want to have a life average college classroom, too. the school should look for some kind of way for a stipend. >> can i ask you to respond to quagmire on twitter who is looking at this discussion and saying this is positively ridiculous. next, these athletes will demand a pension plan and stock options. >> it's not about a salary, and it's about having something for
the athletes as they see millions of dollars and think about the fab five and they sold jerseys being sold with their numbers and they didn't get any kind of money to go out to the club. they want to have some type of lives. it's not about stock options or anything, but i know i could not even take a ride with a coach who i was up in tennessee and i'm from florida, but i could not even ride with the coach who was living in florida home because the ncaa would have penalized the school or penalized me. i would have been kicked out of school. so what i'm say it's just so much hypocrisy not being able to give these athletes some type of stipend, not a salary, but something from the millions of dollars that they bring in even though if it was to sit on the bench and they do practice and they have to practice and do the same thing as the top-class athlete, but you know, as an athlete, i didn't look at anyone as a lower class and all of us
were a team and everybody should receive the same. >> thanks for the call and sharing your experience and i'll let you jump in. >> not a lot has changed from your experience, bernard. it is still a lot of work into putting your season together. one thing that was interesting about this northwestern case is that it really pulled a vail back on what the day to day is like for students -- student athletes and cane coulter, the quarterback who basically led this effort gave detailed testimony about how much work he puts into his season doing work -- doing homework on the bus. he even said that he was discouraged from pursuing premed which is what he wanted to do and these were all sort of part and parcel of the argument that we are performing work here and the scholarship that you're giving us constitutes a form of payment and therefore we are
employees, and so i think a lot of athletes do feel similar to bernard in that they put a lot of -- and let's face it, most of these -- bernard, if you ever went on to play pro ball and you didn't bring that up so i'm guessing you didn't and the vast majority of these athletes don't end up playing big-time ball and making lots of money. >> a tweet from rick watching the segment. >> and ncaa sports is simply a free feeder system for professional sports and people in the offices are getting rich and coaches, universities and presidents and karen has a question for you. what are the limits for healthcare benefits for college players who are injured? >> it sort of depends now on conference and school. you know, in general, and a lot of places you can end up on the hook for if you got hurt for playing down in school. you could still be on the hook for playing for that in
injuries. >> let's go to juanita, the line for republicans. good morning. >> gm ood morning to you. i have a confession to make when i'm done with this, but i have a couple of comments in relation to quagmire. he doesn't know what he's talking about, but what i wanted to point out to you since i'm a retired journalist, one thing i have not heard him mention and that we and the top-grossing schools. how many of those schools are sunday schools, that's number one. number two, did he do his homework to find out how much of that money that is generated by the football team goes back into the general fund of the university to support other things other than athletic ands and this is very important because here in ohio since 1922,
since its inception. ohio state football is not funded by the state of ohio by one penny and the stadium was not built by the state and he was built by subscription in 1922 by the people or by the citizens of ohio. so to backdrop on an argument that a former caller made, these young men are not only supplying their athletic departments, but at least in the last, great recession they had, they also allowed the universities to keep academic departments a float and because of that they should be given some conversation. >> i want to answer some of the questions that you brought up about his reporting and you said you have a confession. >> i'm a democrat, they put me on the wrong line. >> dave jamieson, go ahead. >> juanita brings up a great point that these school, these
programs especially when you're talking about football and basketball are generating enormous amounts of money for these schools especially through television rights in that money helps -- helps these schools operate, and that is the underlying argument for cases and their lawyers are making whether they're talking about whether they should be able to unionize or why there should be some sort offy from market to allow for salaries and the ideas that they're performing work and that they're generating enormous amount of revenues that help their schools operate. that is is many people feel the same way you do that it's kind of ridiculous to pretend otherwise that these athletes are not playingxt an integral re in helping their schools operate. >> let's go to jay waiting in north charleston, south carolina. line for democrats. good morning. >> how are you doing? how's everybody doing? >> good. go ahead, jay. >> well, first of all, this is
such a healthy conversation. i have to applaud c-span for using this platform so we can discuss these things. i feel like, yes, absolutely, these college players should be paid. i was looking at the yearly i was looking at the top schools and what percentage should they be making? should all of the student athletes and is it going to be a base of 10% of the annual income? is it 15%, and i definitely have to agree. the more blue chip athletes should get paid a higher percentage, as well because just like, you know, the big-name athletes and they're the ones that put the buck butts in the seat, but -- actually, i feel like that's a subtopic in this. i feel like the major topic, the elephant in the room is this is
just one flaw that we see in the whole cleej -- the whole college process. i mean, if you want to look at how many people owe student loans. i remember the first caller talking about a form of slavery. we can say that, in a sense, but i feel like all these students that are, you know, held duty bound to all of this revenue and how it's in the billions is also something to look at. >> i want to give dave jamison a chance to respond and there is a tweet to the subject that you were just talking about, jay. >> irish eyes writes full scholarship isn't payment enough? other student goes into colleges to support sports they don't play. >> one question about all of this which the caller highlight side that what would this look like if colleges were going to end up paying athletes? would all of the players at a certain school on a certain team end up getting the same wage or would it be a full-blown free
market where the blue chip athletes and the most valuable ones would get a much larger share of the money? it's hard to say right now what this would look like and one thing that the ncaa, one of their arguments in pushing back against this is if you created something like a free market that it would force schools to get rid of their underperforming programs and as the lawyer said to me last week, and someone on the swim team probably works just as hard as someone on the football team at a big-name school, and i think that that's entirely true. so we get into issues of fairness and title 9 issues and all sorts of thorny questions. >> the story in "the huffington post" last week, northwestern football players won't get a union but their fight doesn't end there and dave jamieson one of the reporters and you can check it out, huffington post.com or follow jamieson on