What is your daily faith practice now, and how do you maintain that in the midst of the campaign frenzy?
|A Proverb a Day|
Are there any particular instances when in contemplating Proverbs you thought, “Wow, this is pretty spot on to what I’m dealing with right now”?
Oh, it happens almost every day. Proverbs 4:12 says, “When you walk you will not stumble and when you run your steps will not be hindered.” And that was just a very powerful message for me that day, I remember that. And Proverbs 15:1, soft answer turns away wrath –a gentle answer turns away… a soft answer turns away wrath but a harsh word stirs up anger. Just a reminder to not lose my cool.
A passage that’s really meant a lot, and I’ve told a lot of people, because so many times people come up and say, “I’m praying for you. How can I pray?” And I always tell them to pray the prayer of Isaiah 54 – no weapons formed against me will be able to prosper.
Have there been any particular moments during the campaign when on some level you really felt God’s presence?
|On Feeling God's Presence During the Debates|
There’s a book you may have heard about called “Unchristian” which is basically saying that, among young people, the involvement of religious conservatives in politics has actually turned them off of Christianity. Do you think there’s anything to that?
|On Trying to Improve Christianity's Image|
There’s something interesting going on now in the evangelical world – there’s a conversation going on about what the agenda ought to be that seems broader. There was a little bit of a sense that the religious conservative leadership, while emphasizing important things like abortion and family, had neglected issues like poverty and the environment. Do you think that’s true?
|Issues Republicans Should Address|
|On Amending the Constitution to Meet God's Standards|
Just to follow up on that question, according to that standard, if the Constitution and its amendments are subject to biblical interpretations, doesn’t that mean it would be subject to biblical argument over what the proper interpretation is? And where does that leave, say, nonbelievers or members of other faiths in a proudly pluralistic like our own when amendments to the Constitution are subject to a biblical interpretation?
I think that whether someone is a Christian or not, the idea that a human life has dignity and intrinsic worth should be clear enough. I don’t think a person has to be a person of faith to say that once you redefine a human life and say there is a life not worth living, and that we have a right to terminate a human life because of its inconvenience to others in the society. That’s the real issue. That’s the heart of it. It’s not just about being against abortion. It’s really about, Is there is a point at which a human life, because it’s become a burden or inconvenience to others, is an expendable life. And once we’ve made a decision that there is such a time – whether it’s the termination of an unborn child in the womb or whether it’s the termination of an 80-year-old comatose patient -- we’ve already crossed that line. And then the question is, How far and how quickly do we move past that line?
And the same thing would be true of marriage. Marriage has historically, as long as there’s been human history, meant a man and a woman in a relationship for life. Once we change that definition, then where does it go from there?
Is it your goal to bring the Constitution into strict conformity with the Bible? Some people would consider that a kind of dangerous undertaking, particularly given the variety of biblical interpretations.
Well, I don’t think that’s a radical view to say we’re going to affirm marriage. I think the radical view is to say that we’re going to change the definition of marriage so that it can mean two men, two women, a man and three women, a man and a child, a man and animal. Again, once we change the definition, the door is open to change it again. I think the radical position is to make a change in what’s been historic.
Do you think that on issues other than marriage and the life of the unborn that the Constitution should be brought into conformity with the Bible, which is what that quote seemed to suggest?
No, I was specifically talking about those two issues. Those were the only two issues I spoke about in the speech, and that was the point. I’m not suggesting that we say, “Okay, the Bible says you should tithe, so now in the Constitution we’re going to amend it to say everyone tithes.”
Those were the two issues that I felt like are talked about in the political realm. I support both the human rights amendment and a marriage amendment, and the reason that I do is because I think we need to codify in our Constitution that which has been acceptable and accepted view of what life and what marriage means. Frankly, if it weren’t being challenged, it wouldn’t be necessary. But it is being challenged. Now you have states that are passing same-sex marriage laws or civil union laws.
And you also have states that not only practice abortion, but if Roe v. Wade is overturned, we haven’t won the battle. All we’ve done is now we’ve created the logic of the Civil War, which says that the right to the human life is geographical, not moral. I think that’s very problematic. That’s why I think that people like Fred Thompson are dead wrong when he says just leave that up to the states. Well, that’s again the logic of the Civil War – that slavery could be okay in Georgia but not okay in Massachusetts. Obviously we’d today say, “Well, that’s nonsense. Slavery is wrong, period.” It can’t be right somewhere and wrong somewhere else. Same with abortion.
|On the Lack of Support from the Christian Right|
Is that frustrating for you in the sense that you can understand that on a voter level, but these are folks who have known you for quite a while?
Sure, I’d love to have all of their support, but I guess what I have to do is be grateful in the rank and file who are very supportive, who have taken the time to go to my website and view me in the light of my own words, not the words of an opponent.
Is it possible there’s sort of a generational thing going on, that these religious conservative leaders don’t necessarily like the idea of someone else becoming a leading religious political figure?
I would hope that is not what’s going on, but I just don’t know.
To just close on a more personal, spiritual note, is there anything else you want to leave people with in terms of specifically the power of prayer in your life and how it has helped you get through the temptations and challenges of the campaigns?
|The Role of God and Prayer in Getting Him This Far|