By John W. Whitehead
February 10, 2003
"You'll find out when you reach the top, you're on the bottom," sang Bob Dylan in 1975. If we take this assertion as truth, it serves as a perfect description of Randall Terry’s last decade.
The story of Randall Terry’s rise and fall begins in 1987 with the formation of Operation Rescue. The anti-abortion group provided a much-needed umbrella to the burgeoning pro-life movement and subsequently made its founder both a star and a pariah. By the mid-90s, Terry could boast (as his website does) that OR was "the largest peaceful civil disobedience movement in American history," accounting "for over 70,000 arrests from 1987 to 1994."
Just as quickly as the anti-abortion movement gained prominence, however, it seemed to lose its steam. This was largely due to government prosecution that resulted in both jail time and prison sentences for protesters. As the movement dwindled, Terry broadened his horizons by adding homosexuality and other so-called moral crises to his agenda, through a national radio show that allowed him a platform to air his views.
In 1998, Terry decided to run for Congress on a platform that could simply be described as "no property taxes, no IRS, no social security, no abortion, and no homosexuals." It was at this point that things took a turn for the worse. Not only did he lose overwhelmingly in his bid to join the U.S. government, Terry was also simultaneously held liable for a number of civil judgments as a result of his various protests over the years. He eventually was forced to declare bankruptcy, claiming close to $2 million in debt.
His troubles were only compounded when he decided to leave his wife of almost 20 years in 1999. And although Terry had resigned his position as elder at the church he attended, his pastor chose to write a letter exposing what he perceived as Terry’s sinful ways. When Operation Save America (formerly Operation Rescue) posted the letter on its website with the header "Please Pray for Randall Terry," a hailstorm of criticism and castigation followed. Terry lost his radio show, many followers, and most means of financial support.
The enforced sabbatical seems to have given Terry a chance to reevaluate and restart his life. He remarried in early 2000 and moved to Nashville where he has written and recorded two albums, one comprised of praise songs, the other based in country music. "I would love to open for Bob Dylan," he says.
While he has two more albums in the works, Terry has not abandoned the activism of his past life. He recently self-published an essay called The Crescent Terror: The Koran, Islam, and America’s War on Terrorism and is currently writing two books. All in all, he seems to be gearing up for a return to the public sphere. "I hope to have my radio show back on the air soon," he says. "Then I’m going to do a series of pro-life events throughout the South and up the eastern seaboard in 2004."
John W. Whitehead recently spoke with Randall Terry about his troubles, the current state of the anti-abortion movement, his views on various moral topics, and where he plans to go from here.
OldSpeak: In the last few years, you’ve been accused of many things, including a pattern of conduct that your own former pastor calls sinful. There’s one website that asks people to "please pray for Randall Terry." There it is alleged: "It is with a profound sadness that I report to you that Randall has separated from his wife and family, from his church, and from all of us who have been running the race of faith with him." On this website, your former pastor, Dan Little, posted a letter where he notes that you left your wife of 18 years and states that one reason you were censured by your church was for "a pattern of repeated sinful relationships and conversations with both single and married women." Then Pastor Little goes on to say: "Meanwhile, it seems to many observers that Randall is altogether a different person than the one we knew and supported so many years ago. He still uses much of the old rhetoric, still attempts to fundraise as if he were the same man, but he himself does not appear to be the same man." Randall, are you the same man?
RT: The people who have been attacking me have no authority in my life whatsoever. They’re on a personal vendetta against me. My present pastor has been ministering to me and my children through a long four-year ordeal that involved a divorce and a remarriage. I had resigned from Dan Little’s church several months earlier, but he decided to excommunicate me anyway. This became very problematic. We had several pastors from around the country telling him that he had no authority to do anything to me.
So none of the things he said were true?
The bottom line is this: I never had an affair with anybody. So I’m dealing with a reputation problem now. People think I’m an adulterer and that I abandoned my kids.
Those allegations are all over the web.
I know. And it’s not true. First of all, my son is in college. One of my daughters lives with me, and I’m putting her through college. My other daughter is moving in with me in June, and I’m putting her through college. After my former wife Cindy and I separated, my son lived with me full-time and my daughters lived with me half-time. So it was a lie from the beginning.
How have these allegations plagued you?
It’s been horrible. I’ve had speaking engagement after speaking engagement canceled. To this day, I think I could turn my e-mail on any day of the week and find people who are asking me why I’m unrepentant and why I don’t submit to church authority. I’ll tell you something—I’ve become a real fan of the Ninth Commandment—don’t bear false witness against your neighbor.
A number of people attacked you. Has anyone defended you?
Thank the Lord I had some close friends.
Have any of the major names in evangelicalism defended you?
I’ve never asked any of them for help.
Do any of them still talk to you or interview you on their programs the way they used to?
No. I haven’t done any major interviews in three years. I’ve been on a sabbatical. My pastor asked me to take a one-year sabbatical, which began in 2000 and ostensibly ended in 2001. So I was not able to get any traction for serious ministry up until right now.
So you’re back in business?
Yes. And that’s why these people are suddenly roaring against me again.
Do you expect to get support from the major leaders of evangelism?
I don’t know. The church world has had to deal with divorce and remarriage for 2,000 years. Every major denomination has a mechanism by which they deal with divorce and remarriage, whether it’s a divorce with absolution, an annulment, forgiveness or whether they think there are charges of adultery, abandonment or abuse. The bottom line is that the Christian community has had to deal with this and will continue to have to deal with it until the end of time. There are those out there who believe that if you divorce and remarry for any reason, it doesn’t matter what, that you are automatically forever disqualified from any public service. But you have to remember that I’m not ordained. I’m a layman—not a priest, not a pastor. So I don’t know what Dobson or Falwell or any of these people will say or do because I haven’t asked them, frankly.
Obviously, the cost of the battle, especially the lawsuits by the pro-abortion forces and your loss of assets, has had an effect on you.
It was unbelievable. I mean, I went from having a daily talk show around the country to where we were struggling to survive. And I mean struggling to survive. The phone was turned off. I was three months behind in the rent.
You’ve been involved in the entire spectrum of the pro-life movement. You were there when pro-lifers were active in the early ‘80s. What happened to the pro-life movement? There appear to be very few people who picket abortion clinics anymore. It seems like the main function of most pro-lifers is being involved with crisis pregnancy centers and banquets to raise money for them. Has the pro-life movement been driven inside?
Well, we have problems in the culture wars, and I would be lying if I tried to put a good face on them. We’ve been steadily losing ground. The Bush presidency could be a good thing if Bush would appoint pro-life judges to every level of the federal judiciary. It would be great if he would commit to vetoing any legislation that gives money to Planned Parenthood.
But he is not doing that. He has only paid lip service to the pro-life concept.
So far, I’ve been disappointed. But the most important thing he could do would be to appoint federal judges who are only pro-life. And the fact that he reintroduced a couple of judges who got rejected is a good sign. But overall, forgetting the President for a minute and looking at the movement, these are some of my general observations. First, the evangelical community does not have the theology to sustain a multi-generational attack. The "Jesus is coming tomorrow" rapture mentality has crippled and castrated large portions of the evangelical world.
Are you saying that you don’t believe in the rapture?
Of course I believe in the Second Coming. I also believe that at some moment in time the trumpet will sound and those of us in Christ will be caught up together with the Lord, just as the Scripture teaches. I believe the Creed. Christ will come again. But the preoccupation with an Antichrist who will rule from Jerusalem or from somewhere and will put a microchip under everyone’s hand or forehead is an intoxicating distraction.
Do you believe it’s satanic deception?
I believe it is. I also believe that it’s crippling and castrating people so they don’t do the work of justice. The end of the matter is that the Lord has shown us what is good and what He requires of us—that is, to do justly, to love mercy and to walk humbly with God.
So the escapist mentality is one problem. What are some others?
Another problem is leadership. The evangelical community has become, in many ways, cannibalistic. I’m closely associated with the activist wing of the pro-life community.
That’s a small wing.
It is a small wing. But what’s tragic is that it is devouring itself.
In what way?
There’s in-fighting. There are people who won’t talk to one another; people who won’t work with each other; people who are trying to destroy me. There are 3,000 babies that are going to die today and 3,000 babies that are going to die tomorrow, and some so-called pro-lifers are preoccupied with trying to destroy Randall Terry—the person who led the largest pro-life civil disobedience movement in American history. In fact, I led the largest civil disobedience movement of any kind in American history, period.
So the pro-life movement has been diverted to side issues.
To fighting amongst themselves. Another problem is you still have the century-old division between Catholic and Protestant. The animosity primarily lies with the Protestants. The Catholic world says that if you’re a Trinitarian and you’ve been baptized, we accept you as a brother. Let’s fight child killing. And even if you don’t believe all that Catholicism teaches, I’ll still work with you to save babies.
But many Protestants believe the Catholic Church is the Beast from the book of Revelation in the Bible.
Right, but they are sadly deceived. I say to those people, "Let me ask you a question. If your daughter was three years old and she was drowning and it was you and one other person there to rescue your daughter, would you stop and ask that person, ‘Do you say the Rosary? Do you believe in substantiation? Because if you do, I won’t work with you to save my daughter. You can’t help me rescue my daughter from drowning.’"
What else is wrong with the pro-life movement?
There’s been a failure to have a comprehensive plan to get judges who are God-fearing Christians and believe the Ten Commandments are the foundation to civilization. In other words, we are only begging for a place at the table.
Is there anything else wrong with the pro-life movement?
Well, I think we’re tired.
If Christians have a theology that’s paper-thin and lacks substance, how in the world are you going to get anywhere in the first place?
I’m going to say something that will anger the evangelical world, but I’ll say it anyway. I think the spearhead that is going to make abortion illegal within the next 20 years will invoke key players mainly from the Catholic world.
They have a theology of life. They have a theology of social justice. They have a theology of suffering. They expect to suffer in their pursuit of justice, and they’re not going to quit when they do suffer. They’re not distracted by Jesus coming tomorrow and the microchip coming with the Antichrist.
Operation Rescue was distinctive. With its demise, did it compromise the pro-life movement?
I don’t think so. Operation Rescue bore much fruit. There are a lot of people who will tie their genesis into social activism to the Rescue movement. And so all we can do is hope that those seeds that have been sown will bear fruit over the next 10, 20 or 30 years.
Why do you think Operation Rescue took a nosedive?
The biggest reason was the asserted effort of the Clinton Administration to destroy us. You had several things happening simultaneously. One was the RICO lawsuits. Another was the Ku Klux Klan suits. Both of these are streams of law that the abortion community co-opted to use against us in the federal courts. Then the FACE Bill was passed—Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances. It used to be that you could do a sit-in and face five days in jail or a $100 fine, which was no big deal. But when they made it a federal crime to sit in front of an abortion mill, you faced six months in federal prison for the first offense and up to 18 months for the second offense and so on.
But that didn’t make it unlawful for people to picket in front of abortion clinics. It didn’t stop people from standing in front of abortion clinics with a sign in their hand.
Of course not. But what happened was the chilling effect. As an attorney, you know that the chilling effect on First Amendment freedoms was expansive. People wrongly thought that if they picketed in front of an abortion clinic, they would be charged with a RICO offense or they’d go to jail. The media spin on all this had a massive toll as well.
I remember speaking at a pro-life rally in Washington, DC, and afterwards you came up and introduced yourself. This was before Operation Rescue.
Yes, it was in the early ‘80s. In fact, you printed my first tract, which was called "Higher Laws," in one of your Rutherford Institute newsletters. That was almost two decades ago.
Then you came to my office, and we talked most of the day about where you were going with Operation Rescue before it even started.
Yes. I appreciate your giving me the time of day because a lot of people thought I was crazy.
I thought you were crazy, too.
Well, at least it worked.
If you hadn’t lost your money, your home and your family as you knew it, if all that had not happened, what would your goal have been at the end of the day? What did you hope to accomplish?
My goal remains the same—that is, to make child killing in America illegal and, with that momentum, to affect political policy in nations around the world so it is safe to be an unborn child.
You ran for public office.
That is correct. In 1998, I ran for Congress. I raised $1.2 million, but I was defeated—by pro-abortion Republicans.
Supposedly when you were running for office, you said: "When I or people like me are running the country, you’d better flee because we will find you. We will try you. We will execute you. I mean every word of it. I will make it part of my mission to see that you are tried and executed." I guess you’re talking about abortionists. Do you still believe this?
No. Actually, I said that in the early ‘90s. And I’ll be honest with you, John. That quote…
That’s another quote you’ll find on websites.
Well, there are other ones out there that are not true, and there are ones that were taken out of context. That particular quote was in the middle of a speech, and it was based on the Nuremberg principles of justice. That is, if you participate in mass murder, even under the color of law, it is still a crime against humanity and ultimately you will be tried. The reality is that I said those statements and things like them for the shock value. They’re words I wish I could take back, but I can’t. People have to remember that I was leading Operation Rescue. This was born in my heart while I was in my mid-twenties. I was a kid.
Yes, you were.
And when you’re young and brash and full of fire, sometimes you say stupid things that you later wish you could take back. But you can’t.
If you became President of the United States, obviously your goal would be to make abortion illegal. However, abortionists would still be killing babies. What do you think the remedy for this should be?
We need a constitutional amendment that ends child killing—just like we had a constitutional amendment to end slavery. The punishment for abortion is going to end up being a state issue. So, as President, my goal and my duty would be to uphold the Constitution of the United States of America and to protect it against enemies both foreign and domestic. The punishment that should be meted out to those who murder babies in the womb is going to fall to judges and juries at the state level, just like the murder of a three-year-old or the murder of a housewife falls to those people.
Do you endorse capital punishment?
I support capital punishment. As a matter of principle, I believe that if somebody murders an innocent person and the evidence is clear and with two eyewitnesses, that person has forfeited their life.
A friend of mine once said that evangelicals believe in saving people on one end of the life spectrum but killing them on the other. Thus, is capital punishment pro-life?
No, it is pro-justice. Life is about truth and justice. The truth is that there is a God in Heaven who has revealed Himself in time and space. He has shown us what He expects of us. Justice is the application of that truth. It is unjust to kill an innocent child for no crime, and it is unjust to let a murderer sit in front of a TV for the rest of his life and work out in the weight room. It’s about justice.
Justice and mercy go hand in hand, don’t they?
Justice and mercy hold hands together. However, mercy without law simply becomes anarchy. In other words, I believe in mercy, but mercy is when you don’t get what you deserve because of the law. However, it is still an acknowledgment that the law is critical and that civilization cannot exist without law.
But don’t you think we live in a totally contradictory society where abortion exists and at the same point in time the government is killing people on death row?
Well, again, it’s a betrayal of justice and a betrayal of the image of God. As the Bible says, "Whoever sheds man’s blood, by man his blood shall be shed, for in the image of God made he man." When we kill unborn babies, it is a betrayal of the image of God. When we don’t execute known murderers, it is again a betrayal of the image of God.
But in the Bible there are all kinds of offenses that merit capital punishment–for example, taking children outside the gates and executing them when they disobey their parents. You don’t believe we should do that, do you?
Well, first of all, there is no record of that ever happening.
But it’s in the Bible.
Of course it’s in the Bible. But I don’t understand everything in the Bible. I am a devout Christian, but there are things I don’t understand and I’m comfortable living with that. I think with the New Testament and the coming of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, a tenor of mercy was added. That is undeniable, and it has born magnificent fruit in civilizations since the day of the resurrection of the Lord.
That could apply to capital punishment as well, don’t you think?
Some people argue that it does, and that’s an area where we can respectfully disagree. At the end of the day, if somebody said to me, "Look, I’ll cut you a deal. We’ll make abortion illegal in all 50 states and no murderers have to spend the rest of their lives in prison without parole," I’d say, "I’ll take that deal."
You obviously see a spiritual dimension to what we’ve been discussing. Do you believe that groups such as Planned Parenthood are the tools of Satan?
I would rather say it like this. They are self-conscious adversaries of the truth and of the God that made them. They knowingly reject the Christian religion and its precepts and laws, both on issues of abortion and sexual ethics and on the issues of the punishment of criminals. The people who run Planned Parenthood know this. If you look at the documents of Planned Parenthood and similar groups, you know that they hate the Judeo-Christian fabric of justice. They hate it. They reject it and are trying to do all they can to obliterate it from society. But they will lose. He who sits in the Heavens will laugh.
Christ said, "You are either for Me or against Me." He said to his disciple Peter, "Get thee behind me, Satan." We are talking about absolutes here. As a Christian, you obviously believe that one is either on God’s side or Satan’s. Or am I wrong? To paraphrase Bob Dylan, you either serve the Devil or the Lord.
I love that. I have the album and play it all the time. In fact, for months it was in my CD player and I would wake up to those tunes every morning.
Slow Train Coming is a great album.
It really is one of the best albums Dylan ever did. What blows my mind about him is the power in those songs and that he was probably only a Christian for about a year.
The theology on that album is better than anything you’ll find in most churches. I’m not so sure he’s not still a Christian.
I have no knowledge.
Maybe Dylan just got tired of being openly identified with evangelicalism.
I think you may be right. My gut instinct is that he still privately loves the Lord but refuses to do any interviews about his spirituality. He won’t talk about it.
He sings gospel songs routinely in his live shows, and unashamedly so. But let’s return to my question. For example, with a group such as Planned Parenthood, do you think there is a conscious move by demonic forces to use these kinds of organizations to basically wipe out the image of God?
I have a suspicion.
A suspicion of what?
That it is connected to the very forces of Hell. But here’s the thing, John. At the end of the day, when the Day of Judgment comes, only God can separate the sheep from the goats. I don’t know who’s a goat and who’s a sheep. If I knew, if God would mark them, it would be a lot easier.
Let me ask you this—does Planned Parenthood look like a goat?
It sure does. It smells like a goat, walks like a goat and goes baaaaaaa like a goat. And when a person, a man or a woman, reaches into a woman’s uterus and rips a baby limb from limb, that is demonic. It is from the pit of Hell.
Are you supportive of George W. Bush?
Well, I would rather have Bush than Gore. That’s a no-brainer.
I’m not asking you that. I’m asking if you support Bush.
I would look at the President’s policies on a step by step basis. I do believe that President Bush is a Christian.
Why do you believe that?
Because he has made a profession of faith.
Where did he make that profession of faith?
I saw him do it on TV.
Did he say that Jesus was Lord? Did he really?
My memory is that he did, John. I could be wrong, but that’s my memory.
I’ve never seen that. I’ve heard people say it. What if he’s just a politician and is jerking your chain?
Only God knows.
No, Jesus said you would know the tree by its fruit. I haven’t seen a lot of fruit. It’s a pretty sparse tree so far.
I don’t really know if Bush knows the Lord or not. He professes that he does. So I have to say that I believe him. If President Bush appoints pro-life judges to the federal judiciary, I will be satisfied. To me, that is the unalterable cast-in-stone litmus test.
And what if he doesn’t?
This is where Presidents Reagan and Bush failed miserably in their duty before God. If they had done their job properly as professing Christians, they would have done their homework. We wouldn’t have Anthony Kennedy. We wouldn’t have Sandra Day O’Connor. And Roe v. Wade would be on the ash heap of history right now. I wrote a prayer. It’s a responsive prayer to be used for the President in Bible studies, churches, litanies in front of abortion clinics, in front of the White House praying for the President to have the courage to do his Christian duty—that is, to only appoint pro-life judges. Then we will see if God answers that prayer. President Bush should respond to his Maker because he does have a duty before God.
But Bush spends most of his time trying to find Saddam Hussein. If he spent, let’s say, one-tenth of the time that he spends on trying to find a way to bomb Hussein focusing, instead, on abortion…
It would be a very different country.
And that grieves me because it is sheer politics.
What are your current views on homosexuality?
The practice of homosexuality is a sin, and it is still a criminal act in about half the states.
Doesn’t the Bible give the death penalty for gays?
I don’t believe so. I think their lifestyle is tragic, and I think there are a lot of men and women trapped in that lifestyle who grieve and weep at night. They hate themselves and hate what they’re trapped in, and they want out. But my word to them is that there is hope and mercy in the arms of the Savior.
But the gay community in general believes Christians hate them with a vengeance.
This is where the Christian community has screwed up. I’ve talked to many homosexuals. I’ve hugged them and said, "Look, I love you and I will pray for you to be delivered from this lifestyle." The problem is that you’ve got leaders of the homosexual movement who are similar to the leaders of Planned Parenthood and NOW. They’re trying to make the practice of homosexual sin a legitimate form of sexual expression, to the point where they want to be able to adopt children and raise them in that lifestyle. They want insurance benefits, as if they were married, and they want a legitimate marriage as well. That we must oppose tooth and nail.
But the other side of the argument is that gay people pay taxes, too, and they have equal rights.
You have the right to remain silent.
But you also have the right to express yourself. You have to admit that.
You can express yourself verbally. But society, law, culture, insurance companies, churches, synagogues or whatever cannot be expected to embrace a lifestyle that the Scriptures say is abominable.
But Randall, this is America. Gays have equal rights.
They have the right to have a job. However, if on that job a homosexual man is hitting on other male employees, his boss has the right to fire him.
Should a child languish away in an orphanage for 20 years or should a kind, gentle, gay couple be able to adopt a child and take care of him or her?
It’s a false question. There are people standing in line to adopt that child. And no, homosexual men living in open homosexuality should not be able to adopt that child. No way.
Well, you disagree with Rosie O’Donnell.
God bless Rosie and help her see the truth. She should stick to comedy routines and shut up when it comes to social and political issues because she doesn’t know what she is talking about.
Then you think homosexuality should be against the law? But what about adultery? Isn’t it worse? Doesn’t it destroy families? I virtually never hear Christians talk about it, although I hear their emphasis on homosexuality. And then I see that the divorce rate among Christians is just as high as it is in the secular world. That’s a problem.
Of course, it’s a problem. But here’s the difference, John. No place in the Scriptures is homosexual behavior condoned or accepted.
Neither is adultery.
Of course it isn’t. But you can’t lump divorce and adultery in as the same thing because they are not the same thing. Adultery is always condemned. Divorce is not always condemned. Churches have been forced to deal with divorce in their midst and redeeming the lives of those that are divorced.
But you can also redeem the lives of the gays.
Of course, you can. All sin can be forgiven. The only sin that can’t be forgiven is blasphemy against the Holy Spirit.
How can be you be forgiven if they fine you and put you in jail because you happen to be gay?
Forgiveness is not a matter of the state. Forgiveness is a matter for God.
If you ever find yourself on death row, you better hope the state is thinking of forgiveness and mercy.
Ted Bundy made a strong profession of sorrow, contrition, repentance and faith before he died. But he still had to die.
Because Bundy took the life of over 50 women. He was a confessed murderer, and God gave us the law that makes clear that a man like that must be put to death. I absolutely believe that he could be redeemed and forgiven by God. And I absolutely believe that he had to go and see God right away.
He had to die? You’re imposing the Ten Commandments on the state. But the fact is that the United States does not have the Ten Commandments as its law.
It has other laws. It has secular laws.
This is a philosophical point of importance that we have to make clear. The Ten Commandments do not give a judicial code of punishment. But they do say this is what is right and this is what is wrong. From the foundation springs of what we call civilization, the Ten Commandments were the foundation of the Republic.
So you’re saying that the principles in the Ten Commandments should govern?
That’s my point. And the same with the Declaration of Independence. The laws of nature and of nature’s God mentioned in the Declaration was embracing natural law, essentially what is found in the Ten Commandments. That’s the foundation of civilization. If you don’t have that as a foundation for civilization, you have pagan civilization.
So, America is a pagan nation?
No, I don’t believe America is a pagan nation. I believe it is a backsliding Christian nation.
Some leading evangelicals disagree with you on this point. Cal Thomas, for example, now says there was no such thing as a Christian nation—that it’s all been a deception.
Cal is wrong. Cal does not know his history. I wrote an eight-page line by line critique of his book Blinded by Might. Cal is a perfect example of where evangelical theology and lack of church history will cripple people from being cultural and activist leaders.
Cal is active. He just doesn’t think it’s a Christian nation.
Call is not as active. God bless Cal for the good that he has done. I love him. He is a brother, and I hope he continues to do good and to help the crisis pregnancy centers. However, his book Blinded by Might completely missed the point.
Which was what?
That there is such a thing as Christian law that is the foundation for cultural law and that a nation can self-consciously ascribe to the Judeo-Christian fabric of ethics as its foundation for law and culture and the judiciary.
There are so many diverging viewpoints within the Judeo-Christian tradition. From the issue of gays to capital punishment to so-called Christian activism, there is so much disagreement. Where do you draw the line?
We can quibble about those things, but here’s the bottom line.
They are not small things to quibble about, really.
No, they’re not. But that’s where Christian history comes in. You have to look over 2,000 years of history and see what happened when Christian law replaced pagan law in Germany, in France, in Ireland, in England, in North Africa and in Italy. What happened? And look at the liberty, justice and mercy that prevailed in countries where the Judeo-Christian tradition prevailed. And let me make this perfectly clear. I don’t want to live in a police state. But without Christian ethics, our society will head into a police state.
No doubt about that. We are already in a police state.
Do you endorse the war in Iraq, where our country will undoubtedly kill women and children? What is your view on that?
I believe in just war. I am not a pacifist.
But we’re talking about innocent people being killed.
Tragically, because of modern war and the weaponry of modern war, there is more collateral damage than the weapons of 500 years ago.
Then why don’t we just stop and not kill the children?
Why don’t we talk about how we could conduct a just war and not kill children?
Bush is not talking about that. He’s talking about leveling Iraq but saving the oil wells so you and I can continue to drive our cars.
I believe the Sudan or North Korea poses more of a threat to us than Iraq. This is where politics and oil drive foreign policy. This, in my opinion, is abominable.
Right. Our foreign policy should be driven by justice. Period. American interests, not oil interests, but justice. We’re allowing slaves to be sold and raped in southern Sudan every single day, and our government is doing nothing about it. North Korea has developed nuclear bombs. Pakistan has nuclear bombs. We’re one bullet away from the Islamic government in Pakistan having a nuclear weapon they can put on an oil tanker, drive it off the coast of New York and detonate it. Our lives will never be the same. Remember the Shah of Iran. That’s all I want to say. Remember the Shah of Iran. We armed Iran. We trained their pilots. Then the Shah was ousted and the Muslims took over. They quickly used that weaponry and intelligence against us.
Are you still a Christian Reconstructionist?
I’m sorry. I never was.
Well, that’s what many have labeled you.
I never was.
I see where you now have a career in music.
That’s up to the critics. I would love to open for Bob Dylan. That’s all I can say.
Are you recording music?
I have had that privilege.
Do you write your own songs?
I write them all. I sing them all. I’ve recorded two albums, one gospel and the other country. I was able to record them in the studio owned by Dottie West’s son and Ronnie Milsap’s bandleader. Some of Milsap’s live-band guys are musicians on the albums. Both came out like a million bucks. I have people ordering and reordering them. They love them. My number one comment is it sounds like Barry Manilow got saved.
What are you working on now, and where are you headed?
A couple of things. I’m working on two books and am also working on two more album projects right now.
Where are you headed with the pro-life movement?
I hope to have my radio show back on the air soon. Then I’m going to do a series of pro-life events throughout the South and up the eastern seaboard in 2004.
Will these be activist events?
Yes, but without arrests. My goal is to find 20- to 25-year-old kids and help them think in terms of biblical Christianity and Christian history. I want to see those people leading the country so that 20 years from now Roe v. Wade will be on the ash heap of history.
DISCLAIMER: THE VIEWS AND OPINIONS EXPRESSED IN OLDSPEAK ARE NOT NECESSARILY THOSE OF THE RUTHERFORD INSTITUTE.