Here’s the latest from the crossroads of faith, media & culture: 11/14/22

Focus on faith. Since joining Fox News in 2005, Harris Faulkner has become one of the network’s most prominent personalities. She anchors her own hard news hour The Faulkner Focus (weekdays @ 11:00 AM ET) which immediately rolls into the more freewheeling panel discussion show Outnumbered (weekdays @ noon ET) that she co-hosts with attorney Emily Compagno and former Trump press secretary Kayleigh McEnany. Known for her versatility, she frequently turns up across the Fox News schedule, whether on its late-night comedy hit Gutfeld! or playing host to a forum of voters during last week’s Midterm Election Night coverage. Somewhere amid all that, she found time to write a faith-based book called Faith Still Moves Mountains: Miraculous Stories of the Healing Power of Prayer (Fox News Books) which comes out tomorrow  (11/15).

JWK: Why did you write the book?

Harris Faulkner: Well, you know, we were talking here at Fox. They just started a new…publishing house, Fox News Books. I was talking with our CEO…and she said “If you could write a book, what would you write about?” I said “Oh, gosh. I don’t want to write about me. I want to write about something that foundationally matters in my life and (she) said “Well, that would be your faith because you tell everybody that you mean it when you say you’re gonna pray for us.” And I’m like “Yeah.” When something goes wrong in somebody’s life, I do mean it. And when I make a mistake I (pray). I know a good thing to do as a faith-based person, a Christian, is to go directly to the Source. I think it’s informed how I do interviews and everything now…I’m excited that I work in a place that not only let’s me talk about what matters to me but celebrates that and then publishes a book with me interviewing people and getting their testimony because that’s really what changes us. It’s knowing that something works for someone who went through something like we’re going through – something tough. You know, people from the outside may look great (but) if you would just peek a little deeper into their lives you know that, oh boy, we’re all the same. We’re all struggling. We’re pulling away. We’re pushing into faith. We don’t really know what to do. Does God hear us? All of those questions. I gotta tell you, 19 stories later there are a lot of people who have a lot of great things to share. Miracles are happening all around us.

JWK: How has faith moved mountains in your own life?

HF: Well, (faith) continues to always move those mountains as I push against them with the power of prayer. I think being a mom of two young girls, those were mountains for me – because I waited until it was later in my career…When the Lord trusts you with life there are all sorts of challenges at the beginning…that you can’t even imagine. I think for me personally I always get that balance question but it really was a struggle. How do I balance this career I’ve built. My husband and I (didn’t) even start trying to have children until I was about 40. So, the mountain at first was how do I tell my job? What happens to my career? All of that. And then it just falls away because what really, really matters is that God has called me to a new divine assignment and I can do more than one assignment at a time. I think that that sort of question about the purpose for life – our own lives – is one of the mountains that many people feel like they’re faced with.

JWK: You’ve written in the past about your upbringing in a military family. Your late father was a decorated combat pilot who served three tours of duty in Vietnam, was proud of his service and raised you with the conservative values of the military. How do you feel the media portrays African American patriotism and conservatism? Do they give enough voice to it?

HF: I’m not convinced that the wider media believes black conservative patriots exist…You can look and see the way that they write about just conservative thought in general. You can look and see what President Biden said when he was a candidate – if you don’t vote for him then you’re not really black. So, there is this sort of – not even sort of – there is a belief…that conservative blacks in America are either confused or not real…The day that Twitter (allowed) a racial slur to trend against Senator Tim Scott…I think, a lot of people’s eyes were opened as to how differently black conservative are treated…What does that say about how people on the social platform view black conservatives?…It’s a sensitive point. I said a prayer for his family. I don’t know him personally. I only know him professionally from interviewing him but I thought what must this be like for the young black men in his family?…What does it say that that platform not only disrespects a sitting senator but primarily does so because of his politics? They don’t believe he’s a real person. That’s disgusting…They did finally at least take it down but by then it had been around (for 12 hours). I don’t know if you remember seeing it. I won’t repeat the slur.

So, I sort of look at it as this. If I am in a role as a journalist at a network where all voices are welcome and…our editorial side – particularly in prime time – rocks and that’s why so many people know about Fox – then people people will make all sorts of assumptions about me. Let me fill in the blank. I’m the kid of a lieutenant colonel who loved this country so much…He believed in this country when it didn’t believe in him. In the ’50s (and) ’60s when there were signs that said “No Coloreds here” he still said “I fight for America because she has so much potential. I love my country.” I’m that person’s kid.

I’m the kid of someone who during unrest in the South (when) dad was off fighting the war in Vietnam someone racially motivated in Dallas, Texas when I was a baby with my mom (and) she was home visiting the family…set off an explosive device outside one of the bedroom windows. We were in a neighborhood they thought we shouldn’t be staying in. My mom took that like it was nothing – “No, I’m not gonna leave. I’m gonna wait right here. We’re gonna do the holiday season and then (I’ll) go back to Stuttgart, Germany with the baby” – who was me at the time…It wasn’t that they were in denial. It’s that they pressed into something that leaned back into them. They pressed into God and God leaned back into them – and that’s whose kid I am.

So, now I get to say that – and I’ve always said it really – but now I get to show how that actually works through these wonderful stories of people who have also made the same choices that my parents made. You can feel challenge and you can feel struggle and you can even lean out – but lean back in because the Lord has a divine assignment for you. He will always be faithful.

NOTE: A TV documentary based on Faith Still Moves Mountains is streaming this month on Fox Nation.
A blessing in disguise for the GOP?
Personally, I think so. If the expected Republican tsunami had actually materialized, we most probably would have seen the usual syndrome in which a hugely victorious party overreaches and ends up turning off a large swath of voters by the next election. As it stands, the Democrats are going to retain control of the Senate by a razor-thin margin and, per NBC News projections, the Republicans will gain a razor-thin edge in the House. That will give them the power to conduct overdue investigations on a myriad of issues, including the origins of Covid, border policies and the Biden family‘s questionable international business dealings and take a broad look into the very atypical 2020 election cycle  with both sides getting to raise issues (you know, like hearings are supposed to be). At the same time, there’s no mandate for another impeachment which is something the country definitely doesn’t need or want.

Meanwhile, while it might not be good for the country, the Democrats reading of their averted disaster as some sort of vindication – with President Biden declaring his intention to change “nothing” – will rebound to the Republicans’ advantage in 2024.

Further good news for the Republicans (and, ultimately, bad news for the Democrats) is the neutralization of Donald Trump. To be clear, I believe that, despite his obsessive and often obnoxious Twitter antics and counterproductive shoot-from-the-lip style, his actual  governing policies proved good for the country. Meanwhile, the Democrats’ inability to accept the results of the 2016 election leading to their disregard for the Constitution in building one absurd case after another against him convinced me that they’re at least as crazy as he is  – but more dangerous because of the their governing ideas and, perhaps even more importantly, their overly cozy relationship with global tech and global media corporations. Now, that’s a scary amount of power. All that said, America wants a leader that will at least have a shot at pulling Americans together again. That ain’t Trump. Whether he knows it or not, his time has past.

Republicans do need to formulate an abortion policy that balances the two competing truths that women must have authority over their own bodies and the developing fetus is a defenseless human being worthy of human rights based. Rather than policies focused on coercion and punishment, they need to focus on education, promoting abortion alternatives and finally recognizing that,yes, it is possible to abort pregnancies but not babies.

Overall though, the party is winning the culture wars. Woke ideology is losing the day when it comes to issues like crime, education, borders and free speech. Those cultural issues are helping fuel significant gains by the GOP among African American and other minority voters. Yes, Americans favor Republicans on the economy and national security but they’re also winning on the culture wars. Keep it up. Those same Americans, IMHO, are also very pro-environment but wary of the sort of sky is-falling climate cultism that is depressing our kids, destroying livelihoods, increasing inflation and playing into China’s interests at the expense of our own.

Finally, now that it looks like the Dems are barely holding the Senate and the GOP has barely won the House, does that mean that Democracy is alive and well in the Senate but dead in the House? No, Democracy is alive and well in America – but we do need more confidence in the process. And, no, questioning the process does not make you an insurrectionist or an enemy of the nation. It’s in totalitarian countries where you’re not allowed to question election results. Rioting bad, questioning good. When it comes to election integrity, Americans don’t want to relitigate past elections but they do want to learn from them – so that future elections will be fairer, both in actuality and in perception. Earned faith in election results – as opposed to blind faith – is, in fact, vital to the future of democracy.

So, all in all, a good election night, uh, election week, uh, election month for America. On that point, could we at least get future elections down to a week – and have them actually end on Election Day? That would be a real improvement.

John W. Kennedy is a writer, producer and media development consultant specializing in television and movie projects that uphold positive timeless values, including trust in God.

Encourage one another and build each other up – 1 Thessalonians 5:11

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