Mario Murillo answers hard questions for young pastors who are afraid to speak out against Obama

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Mario Murillo answers hard questions for young pastors who are afraid to speak out against Obama

 An Open Letter about the Silence of  Young Pastors.

In this letter I will answer as clear as possible the most common questions that young Pastors keep asking me:

Question: Why are you as an evangelist speaking out against Obama?

Answer: As a man of God, I am a watchman; every God-called preacher in America is a watchman.  Hebrews 13:17 “Have confidence in your leaders and submit to their authority, because they keep watch over you as those who must give an account.”

It is the duty of a watchman to see danger when it approaches the sheep of God.  However, their highest duty is to intervene before the danger gets to the sheep.

I know that as a young preacher you have heroes from an older generation.  Many baby boomers do not realize how much America has changed.  They cling to old models and remember days when politicians respected God.  We live in a different world now.  We have an administration that is dismantling the things that make us great.   I am , in this letter giving you a side of the story that you do not often get.  I pray that you will see that speaking out by God’s power against Obama is a part of seeing revival in America.

Obama is an existential threat to American Christians and America’s greatness.  We saw this very early on: He has antipathy toward the Gospel and Bible values.  He uses his presidential power to weaken the American exceptionalism and Christianity through Obamacare, amnesty, same sex marriage, and his refusal intervene in the massacre of Christians around the world at the hands of Islam.   He still calls Islam  a religion of peace!

When I see the words “as those who must give an account’ I believe that every minister will give an account to God for what they did during this regime that openly attacks the values that made us great.

In just 6 short years, we have been marginalized.  Our traditional views on marriage, abortion and doctrines are being treated as if they are some new and threatening extreme.charade

Question:  Aren’t we told not to judge?

Answer:  Matthew 7: 1 Judge not that you be not judged:   This quote from Brannon Howse says it all, “We cannot glibly quote this, though, without understanding what Jesus meant. When Jesus condemned judging, he wasn’t at all implying we should never make judgments about anyone. After all, a few verses later, Jesus himself calls certain people “pigs” and “dogs” (Matt 7:6) and “wolves in sheep’s clothing” (7:15). … What Jesus condemns is a critical and judgmental spirit, an unholy sense of superiority. Jesus commanded us to examine ourselves first for the problems we so easily see in others. Only then can we help remove the speck in another’s eye – which, incidentally, assumes that a problem exists and must be confronted.”

He goes on to explain how silly we are to let the anti-Christians forces use our misapplication against us: “Those that tell you not to judge, quoting Matthew 7:1 grossly out of context, are often some of the most mean-spirited, judgmental souls you could ever meet. It’s not, of course, that they don’t want anyone to judge anything, because they want very much to judge and condemn your commitment to lovingly speak and practice your Christian worldview. You see how these tolerance rules work? We must tolerate them, but they don’t have to tolerate us.”

This is why under Obama you see more restrictions on free speech.  Some of those restrictions are by new laws and others by slander.  Those who follow Obama have more hate labels than anyone else.  When you oppose them you are sexist, racist, homophobic, Islamophobic… and the list goes on and on.

Question: According to scripture isn’t Obama God’s choice for America?

Answer: Some silent Pastors misapply  Romans 13: 1-3, use to defend the idea that Obama is God’s choice ““Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers. For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God. Whosoever therefore resists the power resists the ordinance of God: and they that resist shall receive to themselves damnation. For rulers are not a terror to good works, but to the evil.”

Please notice… “For rulers are not a terror to good works, but to the evil.” This phrase is critically important because it reveals the context i.e., appropriate government is only a terror to evil works; but not to good works. Good government is NOT a terror to good works. When a government is rampant with crime, tyranny and injustice, we are no longer to submit.  Obama is a clear and growing terror to the good works of the Church.

I do not believe that Hitler was God’s choice for Germany, or that Stalin was God’s choice for Russia, or that Mao was a divine answer for China or that Kim Jong-un is God’s choice for North Korea.  

I do not place Obama on the level of tyranny of those other men but he indeed is building a lengthening legacy of lawlessness.

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Obama is the most biblically hostile president in our history and there are a ton of examples of this.  Many of these actions are literally unprecedented – this is the first time they have happened in four centuries of American history. The hostility of President Obama toward Biblical faith and values is without equal from any previous American president.(For those are hearty enough to read them there is a long list of his hostile acts against the Bible attached at the end of this letter.)

Question:  No matter what, shouldn’t you as a minister respect the president?

Answer:  The Constitution does not require Americans to serve their president.  It does however require the president to serve and protect the people…something that Obama has clearly not done.

I take it one step further…Obama is not my president.  I did not vote for him, I suspect the way he was elected and I consider his executive orders unlawful to the degree that he should be removed from office.

My president would have sent help to Benghazi to save the 4 Americans who begged him to save their lives.

My president would not have railroaded America into Obamacare.

My president would overrule freedom of religion.

My president would see that the constitution is not there to protect the government from the people, but to protect the people from the government.

My president would not divide and conquer; he or she would unite and heal.

I pray for him but I do not respect him.

What is your final word to young pastors?

Answer:  I believe that there will be a day when pastors–starting out today– will bitterly regret their compromise.  That day will reveal their true motives and they will not be able to hide behind spiritual catch phrases.

I believe that the silence of the older pastors helped Obama win reelection; that their continuing silence is one of the greatest threats to the future of the American church, and that every minister will give an account to God for what they did during this open persecution of the sheep.

All of my younger brothers and sisters in ministry, I leave you with this clear mandate from  Esther 4:14 “For if you remain completely silent at this time, relief and deliverance will arise for the Jews from another place, but you and your father’s house will perish. Yet who knows whether you have come to the kingdom for such a time as this?”

Renounce the party line and preach the whole counsel of God.  Teach your people what the Bible says about repentance and holiness.  Leave nothing out and do not be afraid to confront controversial subjects while we still can.

We do not need civil war we need national revival.  However, time is running out and so are our options.  Speak out!

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As an added store of ammunition for your arsenal let me give you a list of Obama’s direct acts of hostility against the Bible and the church.

1. Acts of hostility toward people of Biblical faith:

    • December 2009-Present – The annual White House Christmas cards, rather than focusing on Christmas or faith, instead highlight things such as the family dogs. And the White House Christmas tree ornaments include figures such as Mao Tse-Tung and a drag queen. [1]
    • June 2013 – The Obama Department of Justice defunds a Young Marines chapter in Louisiana because their oath mentioned God, and another youth program because it permits a voluntary student-led prayer. [2]
    • February 2013 – The Obama Administration announces that the rights of religious conscience for individuals will not be protected under the Affordable Care Act. [3]
    • January 2013 – Pastor Louie Giglio is pressured to remove himself from praying at the inauguration after it is discovered he once preached a sermon supporting the Biblical definition of marriage. [4]
    • February 2012 – The Obama administration forgives student loans in exchange for public service, but announces it will no longer forgive student loans if the public service is related to religion. [5]
    • January 2012 – The Obama administration argues that the First Amendment provides no protection for churches and synagogues in hiring their pastors and rabbis. [6]
    • December 2011 – The Obama administration denigrates other countries’ religious beliefs as an obstacle to radical homosexual rights. [7]
    • November 2011 – President Obama opposes inclusion of President Franklin Roosevelt’s famous D-Day Prayer in the WWII Memorial. [8]
    • November 2011 – Unlike previous presidents, Obama studiously avoids any religious references in his Thanksgiving speech. [9]
    • August 2011 – The Obama administration releases its new health care rules that override religious conscience protections for medical workers in the areas of abortion and contraception. [10]
    • April 2011 – For the first time in American history, Obama urges passage of a non-discrimination law that does not contain hiring protections for religious groups, forcing religious organizations to hire according to federal mandates without regard to the dictates of their own faith, thus eliminating conscience protection in hiring. [11]
    • February 2011 – Although he filled posts in the State Department, for more than two years Obama did not fill the post of religious freedom ambassador, an official that works against religious persecution across the world; he filled it only after heavy pressure from the public and from Congress. [12]
    • January 2011 – After a federal law was passed to transfer a WWI Memorial in the Mojave Desert to private ownership, the U. S. Supreme Court ruled that the cross in the memorial could continue to stand, but the Obama administration refused to allow the land to be transferred as required by law, and refused to allow the cross to be re-erected as ordered by the Court. [13]
    • November 2010 – Obama misquotes the National Motto, saying it is “E pluribus unum” rather than “In God We Trust” as established by federal law. [14]
    • October 19, 2010 – Obama begins deliberately omitting the phrase about “the Creator” when quoting the Declaration of Independence – an omission he has made on no less than seven occasions. [15]
    • May 2009 – Obama declines to host services for the National Prayer Day (a day established by federal law) at the White House. [16]
    • April 2009 – When speaking at Georgetown University, Obama orders that a monogram symbolizing Jesus’ name be covered when he is making his speech. [17]
    • April 2009 – In a deliberate act of disrespect, Obama nominated three pro-abortion ambassadors to the Vatican; of course, the pro-life Vatican rejected all three. [18]
    • February 2009 – Obama announces plans to revoke conscience protection for health workers who refuse to participate in medical activities that go against their beliefs, and fully implements the plan in February 2011.[19]
    • April 2008 – Obama speaks disrespectfully of Christians, saying they “cling to guns or religion” and have an “antipathy to people who aren’t like them.” [20]

2. Acts of hostility from the Obama-led military toward people of Biblical faith:

    • June 2014 – Official U. S. government personnel, both civilian and military, in Bahrain (a small Arabic nation near Saudi Arabia, Iraq, and Iran) must wear clothing that facilitates the religious observance of the Islamic holy month of Ramadan.​ [21]
    • March 2014 – ​Maxell Air Force Base suddenly bans Gideons from handing out Bibles to willing recruits, a practice that had been occurring for years previously. [22]
    • December 2013 – A naval facility required that two nativity scenes — scenes depicting the event that caused Christmas to be declared a national federal holiday — be removed from the base dining hall and be confined to the base chapel, thus disallowing the open public acknowledgment of this national federal holiday. [23]
    • December 2013 – An Air Force base that allowed various public displays ordered the removal of one simply because it contained religious content.[24]
    • October 2013 – A counter-intelligence briefing at Fort Hood tells soldiers that evangelical Christians are a threat to Americans and that for a soldier to donate to such a group “was punishable under military regulations.” [25]
    • October 2013 – Catholic priests hired to serve as military chaplains are prohibited from performing Mass services at base chapels during the government financial shutdown. When they offered to freely do Mass for soldiers, without regard to whether or not the chaplains were receiving pay, they are still denied permission to do so. [26]
    • October 2013 – The Air Force Academy, in response to a complaint from Mikey Weinstein’s Military Religious Freedom Foundation, makes “so help me God” optional in cadets’ honor oath. [27]
    • August 2013 – A Department of Defense military training manual teaches soldiers that people who talk about “individual liberties, states’ rights, and how to make the world a better place” are “extremists.” It also lists the Founding Fathers — those “colonists who sought to free themselves from British rule” — as examples of those involved in “extremist ideologies and movements.” [28]
    • August 2013 – A Senior Master Sergeant was removed from his position and reassigned because he told his openly lesbian squadron commander that she should not punish a staff sergeant who expressed his views in favor of traditional marriage. [29]
    • August 2013 – The military does not provide heterosexual couples specific paid leave to travel to a state just for the purpose of being married, but it did extend these benefits to homosexual couples who want to marry, thus giving them preferential treatment not available to heterosexuals.[30]
    • August 2013 – The Air Force, in the midst of having launched a series of attacks against those expressing traditional religious or moral views, invited a drag queen group to perform at a base. [31]
    • July 2013 – When an Air Force sergeant with years of military service questioned a same-sex marriage ceremony performed at the Air Force Academy’s chapel, he received a letter of reprimand telling him that if he disagreed, he needed to get out of the military. His current six-year reenlistment was then reduced to only one-year, with the notification that he “be prepared to retire at the end of this year.” [32]
    • July 2013 – An Air Force chaplain who posted a website article on the importance of faith and the origin of the phrase “There are no atheists in foxholes” was officially ordered to remove his post because some were offended by the use of that famous World War II phrase. [33]
    • June 2013 – The U. S. Air Force, in consultation with the Pentagon, removed an inspirational painting that for years has been hanging at Mountain Home Air Force Base because its title was “Blessed Are The Peacemakers” — a phrase from Matthew 5:9 in the Bible. [34]
    • June 2013 – The Obama administration “strongly objects” to a Defense Authorization amendment to protect the constitutionally-guaranteed religious rights of soldiers and chaplains, claiming that it would have an “adverse effect on good order, discipline, morale, and mission accomplishment.” [35]
    • June 2013 – At a joint base in New Jersey, a video was made, based on a Super Bowl commercial, to honor First Sergeants. It stated: “On the eighth day, God looked down on His creation and said, ‘I need someone who will take care of the Airmen.’ So God created a First Sergeant.” Because the video mentioned the word “God,” the Air Force required that it be taken down. [36]
    • June 2013 – An Army Master Sergeant is reprimanded, threatened with judicial action, and given a bad efficiency report, being told he was “no longer a team player,” because he voiced his support of traditional marriage at his own promotion party. [37]
    • May 2013 – The Pentagon announces that “Air Force members are free to express their personal religious beliefs as long as it does not make others uncomfortable. “Proselytizing (inducing someone to convert to one’s faith) goes over that line,” [38] affirming if a sharing of faith makes someone feel uncomfortable that it could be a court-marital offense [39]— the military equivalent of a civil felony.
    • May 2013 – An Air Force officer was actually made to remove a personal Bible from his own desk because it “might” appear that he was condoning the particular religion to which he belonged. [40]
    • April 2013 – Officials briefing U.S. Army soldiers placed “Evangelical Christianity” and “Catholicism” in a list that also included Al-Qaeda, Muslim Brotherhood, and Hamas as examples of “religious extremism.”[41]
    • April 2013 – The U.S. Army directs troops to scratch off and paint over tiny Scripture verse references that for decades had been forged into weapon scopes. [42]
    • April 2013 – The Air Force creates a “religious tolerance” policy but consults only a militant atheist group to do so — a group whose leader has described military personnel who are religious as ‘spiritual rapists’ and ‘human monsters’ [43] and who also says that soldiers who proselytize are guilty of treason and sedition and should be punished to hold back a “tidal wave of fundamentalists.” [44]
    • January 2013 – President Obama announced his opposition to a provision in the 2013 National Defense Authorization Act protecting the rights of conscience for military chaplains. [45]
    • June 2012 – Bibles for the American military have been printed in every conflict since the American Revolution, but the Obama Administration revokes the long-standing U. S. policy of allowing military service emblems to be placed on those military Bibles. [46]
    • May 2012 – The Obama administration opposed legislation to protect the rights of conscience for military chaplains who do not wish to perform same-sex marriages in violation of their strongly-held religious beliefs.[47]
    • April 2012 – A checklist for Air Force Inns will no longer include ensuring that a Bible is available in rooms for those who want to use them. [48]
    • February 2012 – The U. S. Military Academy at West Point disinvites three star Army general and decorated war hero Lieutenant General William G. (“Jerry”) Boykin (retired) from speaking at an event because he is an outspoken Christian. [49]
    • February 2012 – The Air Force removes “God” from the patch of Rapid Capabilities Office (the word on the patch was in Latin: Dei). [50]
    • February 2012 – The Army ordered Catholic chaplains not to read a letter to parishioners that their archbishop asked them to read. [51]
    • November 2011 – The Air Force Academy rescinds support for Operation Christmas Child, a program to send holiday gifts to impoverished children across the world, because the program is run by a Christian charity. [52]
    •  November 2011 – President Obama opposes inclusion of President Franklin Roosevelt’s famous D-Day Prayer in the WWII Memorial. [53]
    • November 2011 – Even while restricting and disapprobating Christian religious expressions, the Air Force Academy pays $80,000 to add a Stonehenge-like worship center for pagans, druids, witches and Wiccans at the Air Force Academy. [54]
    • September 2011 – Air Force Chief of Staff prohibits commanders from notifying airmen of programs and services available to them from chaplains. [55]
    • September 2011 – The Army issues guidelines for Walter Reed Medical Center stipulating that “No religious items (i.e. Bibles, reading materials and/or facts) are allowed to be given away or used during a visit.” [56]
    • August 2011 – The Air Force stops teaching the Just War theory to officers in California because the course is taught by chaplains and is based on a philosophy introduced by St. Augustine in the third century AD – a theory long taught by civilized nations across the world (except now, America). [57]
    • June 2011 – The Department of Veterans Affairs forbids references to God and Jesus during burial ceremonies at Houston National Cemetery.[58]
    • January 2010 – Because of “concerns” raised by the Department of Defense, tiny Bible verse references that had appeared for decades on scopes and gunsights were removed. [59]

3. Acts of hostility toward Biblical values:

    • March 2014 – The Obama administration seeks funding for every type of sex-education — except that which reflects traditional moral values. [60]
    • August 2013 – Non-profit charitable hospitals, especially faith-based ones, will face large fines or lose their tax-exempt status if they don’t comply with new strangling paperwork requirements related to giving free treatment to poor clients who do not have Obamacare insurance coverage. [61] Ironically, the first hospital in America was founded as a charitable institution in 1751 by Benjamin Franklin, and its logo was the Good Samaritan, with Luke 10:35 inscribed below him: “Take care of him, and I will repay thee,” being designed specifically to offer free medical care to the poor. [62] Benjamin Franklin’s hospital would likely be fined unless he placed more resources and funds into paperwork rather than helping the poor under the new faith-hostile policy of the Obama administration.
    • August 2013 – USAID, a federal government agency, shut down a conference in South Korea the night before it was scheduled to take place because some of the presentations were not pro-abortion but instead presented information on abortion complications, including the problems of “preterm births, mental health issues, and maternal mortality” among women giving birth who had previous abortions. [63]
    • June 2013 – The Obama Administration finalizes requirements that under the Obamacare insurance program, employers must make available abortion-causing drugs, regardless of the religious conscience objections of many employers and even despite the directive of several federal courts to protect the religious conscience of employers. [64]
    • April 2013 – The United States Agency for Internal Development (USAID), an official foreign policy agency of the U.S. government, begins a program to train homosexual activists in various countries around the world to overturn traditional marriage and anti-sodomy laws, targeting first those countries with strong Catholic influences, including Ecuador, Honduras, and Guatemala. [65]
    • December 2012 – Despite having campaigned to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, President Obama once again suspends the provisions of the Jerusalem Embassy Act of 1995 which requires the United States to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and to move the American Embassy there. [66]
    • July 2012 – The Pentagon, for the first time, allows service members to wear their uniforms while marching in a parade – specifically, a gay pride parade in San Diego. [67]
    • October 2011 – The Obama administration eliminates federal grants to the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops for their extensive programs that aid victims of human trafficking because the Catholic Church is anti-abortion. [68]
    • September 2011 – The Pentagon directs that military chaplains may perform same-sex marriages at military facilities in violation of the federal Defense of Marriage Act. [69]
    • July 2011 – Obama allows homosexuals to serve openly in the military, reversing a policy originally instituted by George Washington in March 1778. [70]
    • March 2011 – The Obama administration refuses to investigate videos showing Planned Parenthood helping alleged sex traffickers get abortions for victimized underage girls. [71]
    • February 2011 – Obama directs the Justice Department to stop defending the federal Defense of Marriage Act. [72]
    • September 2010 – The Obama administration tells researchers to ignore a judge’s decision striking down federal funding for embryonic stem cell research. [73]
    • August 2010 – The Obama administration Cuts funding for 176 abstinence education programs. [74]
    • July 2010 – The Obama administration uses federal funds in violation of federal law to get Kenya to change its constitution to include abortion.[75]
    • September 16, 2009 – The Obama administration appoints as EEOC Commissioner Chai Feldblum, who asserts that society should “not tolerate” any “private beliefs,” including religious beliefs, if they may negatively affect homosexual “equality.” [76]
    • July 2009 – The Obama administration illegally extends federal benefits to same-sex partners of Foreign Service and Executive Branch employees, in direction violation of the federal Defense of Marriage Act.[77]
    • May 2009 – The White House budget eliminates all funding for abstinence-only education and replaces it with “comprehensive” sexual education, repeatedly proven to increase teen pregnancies and abortions.[78] He continues the deletion in subsequent budgets. [79]
    • May 2009 – Obama officials assemble a terrorism dictionary calling pro-life advocates violent and charging that they use racism in their “criminal” activities. [80]
    • March 2009 – The Obama administration shut out pro-life groups from attending a White House-sponsored health care summit. [81]
    • March 2009 – Obama orders taxpayer funding of embryonic stem cell research. [82]
    • March 2009 – Obama gave $50 million for the UNFPA, the UN population agency that promotes abortion and works closely with Chinese population control officials who use forced abortions and involuntary sterilizations.[83]
    • January 2009 – Obama lifts restrictions on U.S. government funding for groups that provide abortion services or counseling abroad, forcing taxpayers to fund pro-abortion groups that either promote or perform abortions in other nations. [84]
    • January 2009 – President Obama’s nominee for deputy secretary of state asserts that American taxpayers are required to pay for abortions and that limits on abortion funding are unconstitutional. [85]

4. Acts of preferentialism for Islam:

    • February 2012 – The Obama administration makes effulgent apologies for Korans being burned by the U. S. military, [86] but when Bibles were burned by the military, numerous reasons were offered why it was the right thing to do. [87]
    • October 2011 – Obama’s Muslim advisers block Middle Eastern Christians’ access to the White House. [88]
    • August 2010 – Obama speaks with great praise of Islam and condescendingly of Christianity. [89]
    • August 2010 – Obama went to great lengths to speak out on multiple occasions on behalf of building an Islamic mosque at Ground Zero, while at the same time he was silent about a Christian church being denied permission to rebuild at that location. [90]
    • April 2010 – Christian leader Franklin Graham is disinvited from the Pentagon’s National Day of Prayer Event because of complaints from the Muslim community. [91]
    • April 2010 – The Obama administration requires rewriting of government documents and a change in administration vocabulary to remove terms that are deemed offensive to Muslims, including jihad, jihadists, terrorists, radical Islamic, etc. [92]
    • May 2009 – While Obama does not host any National Day of Prayer event at the White House, he does host White House Iftar dinners in honor of Ramadan. [93]
  • 2010 – While every White House traditionally issues hundreds of official proclamations and statements on numerous occasions, this White House avoids traditional Biblical holidays and events but regularly recognizes major Muslim holidays, as evidenced by its 2010 statements on Ramadan, Eid-ul-Fitr, Hajj, and Eid-ul-Adha. [94]

Many of these actions are literally unprecedented – this is the first time they have happened in four centuries of American history. The hostility of President Obama toward Biblical faith and values is without equal from any previous American president.

Atheism’s Fateful Flock.

Bill-O’Reilly

Atheism’s Fateful Flock.

By Bill O’Reilly for BillOReilly.com – Thursday, January 23, 2014

So an atheist walks into a church. If you’re waiting for the punch line, it’s not a joke. According to a recent AP report, something called “atheist mega-churches” are springing up across the USA. There’s music, talks about science, maybe a sermon, but one element is missing: God.

Atheism is chic. An organization called the Secular Student Alliance has more than 400 affiliates at American colleges and high schools, a 500% increase over the past few years. Another group, American Atheists, will hold its annual convention in April in Salt Lake City, right there amid the Mormon faithful. The group’s motto: “Think Again.” I would say the same to them.

Meanwhile, book stores are filled with authors declaring that “God is Not Great,” God is a “Delusion,” and you are a moron if you believe in the Deity. The secular press, of course, loves these books and the reviews are largely favorable.

That’s not to say there aren’t believers in the mainstream media. Soon after swimmer Diana Nyad completed her remarkable swim from Cuba to Florida last year, she described herself as an atheist who is in awe of “the beauty of this universe.” Oprah Winfrey got in hot water, pardon the expression, for informing Nyad that she is therefore not really an atheist.

Polling the folks about faith is tricky, but most surveys show that about 90% of Americans believe in God. Impressive, but that’s down from 98% in 1967. And younger people are less considerably likely to believe than their parents.

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Hollywood plays a role in this trend. According to the book Celebrities in Hell, a number of big stars may be aligned with the universe, but not with the force that most of us believe created it.

The book quotes the following:

– George Clooney: “I don’t believe in heaven or hell. I don’t know if I believe in God.”

– Angelina Jolie: “There doesn’t need to be a God for me.”

– Carrie Fisher: “I love the idea of God, but it’s not stylistically in keeping with the way I function.”

Indeed. Believing in God is not very stylish in mainstream media circles these days. The question then becomes, is there anything wrong with that? After all, we have freedom from religion in America; the Constitution makes it clear that no power in this country has the right to impose religion on anyone.

So the atheists have clear sailing, and I say: Thank God. People of faith should be challenged and made to think about their beliefs. Critical thinking in all areas makes your mind sharper, your philosophy stronger.

Back in 2007, I was looking forward to debating the most successful of the atheist proselytizers, Richard Dawkins, who wrote The God Delusion. He basically says that science can explain everything and no one has any direct evidence there is a God.

But I knocked him out in the fourth round with this right hook: “[The earth] had to come from somewhere, and that is the leap of faith you guys make – that it just somehow happened.”

Dawkins replied: “You’re the one who needs a leap of faith. The onus is on you to say why you believe in something … you believe in, presumably, the Christian God Jesus.”

“Jesus is a real guy,” I said. “I’m not positive that Jesus is God, but I’m throwing in with him rather than throwing in with you guys, because you guys can’t tell me how it all got here.”

“We’re working on it,” Dawkins said.

“When you get it,” I shot back, “maybe I’ll listen.”

But the atheists will never get it. The universe and the earth are so complex, so incredibly detailed, that to believe an accidental evolutionary occurrence could have led to the nature/mankind situation we have now requires a giant leap of imagination.

Richard Dawkins and I had a rematch a couple of years ago when he wrote a book aimed specifically at children. “The book is about science,” he told me, “and everything about the natural world can be explained by science.”

I chastised Dawkins for promoting atheism to youngsters. “You want children to reject God and religion,” I told him, “and you’re trying to get to the kids and say you’re an idiot if you believe in God.”

Richard Dawkins and all the other non-believers are free to think and say whatever they want. As long as they don’t attack people of faith and leave the kids out of it, I have no problem with them. As my eighth grade teacher Sister Martin once said, “Faith is a gift.” But not everybody gets to open the box.

Why I Believe Jesus is the Son of God.

Bill-O’Reilly

As one of the most visible and boisterous voices on all of cable news, Bill O’Reilly’s reputation is defined by his personality and politics more than his faith convictions. But I’ve long known O’Reilly apart from his public persona, and I’ve known there’s more to him than meets the eye.

With the release and success of the historical page-turnerKilling Jesus (which followed Killing Lincoln and Killing Kennedy, all co-authored with Martin Dugard), I was eager to explore the spiritual side of a Fox News star. These are the highlights of our conversation.

You grew up Catholic. How big of a role did faith play in your home?

I lived in a traditional Irish Catholic home that didn’t deviate very much from what had happened in the past 150 years. We went to church on Sunday, went out to breakfast afterward. There were rituals. My mother wanted me to be an altar boy, so I was. I can compare it to a very working-class, predictable, faith-based situation. It was just: Here are the rules. Here’s what we do. There wasn’t a lot of why in it.

Did you believe in God?

Yes, I bought into the orthodoxy. When you’re a little kid and your parents believe and then the school teaches you, it’s an inculcation. I didn’t challenge it.

And what about Jesus? Did you believe Jesus was the Son of God?

Oh, yes. Sure. Yes, back then in the late ’50s, early ’60s when I was in Catholic school, everybody believed it.

What do you believe now?

Pretty much the same. I’m much more sophisticated in my analysis of Roman Catholicism, but the theology I have no problem believing.

So what is God to you?

There’s an Intelligent Design in the universe that created the human race. And there is a free will component to every individual — you either choose to do good or you choose to do evil. And if you sit it out, then you’re in the evil category. And then, what you choose to do in your lifetime will be rewarded or punished by the Intelligent Designer of the universe.

I don’t want to be remembered. Once I’m gone, I’m gone. I don’t care.

That’s pretty much it. My philosophy is, generally speaking, if everybody followed Jesus’ teachings, then there wouldn’t be any war, wouldn’t be any strife, wouldn’t be any abuse. Everybody would be, not perfect, but certainly in a positive realm.

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And if I’m wrong, so what? I’m dead. It doesn’t matter. If it’s a positive while you’re alive to follow the Christian tenets, why would you not do so?

So you believe that Jesus was sent by God and—

I believe the whole narrative. I’m going to accept it, because there’s no reason not to.

I expected that Killing Jesus would be a religious book. In fact, it’s more like a history book. There was no sense of proselytizing.

No, I wanted to stay away [from that]. We have “A History” on the cover. I just wanted to make the world aware that this man existed.

I saw the 60 Minutes interview where you talked about how you believe that the Holy Spirit guided you to write this book. That comment was derided, but I wanted you to talk a little bit more about what you think your earthly purpose is and how your faith informs what you do.

The problem with the secular-progressive movement is it simply cannot accept any people of faith and take them seriously. They’re so condescending and they’re so arrogant that, even though you might be a brilliant person, if you believe, you’re an idiot. So that just knocks out the whole Jesuit organization. It knocks out Thomas Aquinas, Augustine. Everybody is knocked out because they believe. That’s what the genesis of the criticism was.

[P]riests are ridiculous. They don’t make it relevant. I don’t even listen to them. I just do on my own little deal.

When I was honest with 60 Minutes, I said, “Listen, I’m an ordinary guy.” I don’t consider myself to be extraordinary. I have ideas that come to me. And as a Christian, I believe those ideas, when they’re positive, come from the person who created me. And the person who created me is God, and in Christian theology, God is made up of three elements. So of course it would be the Holy Spirit. It’s all logical.

This is what all Christians, if they understand their faith, should believe. It’s not you [who is] creating this monumental book or song or hitting 500 home runs. It’s the talent that you’ve been given and that you’re blessed with. That’s what’s doing it.

So, I tried to get [that] across. I told the truth. I believe that these things that come into my mind — not only Killing Jesus but “The Factor” and the way that I’ve been able to build this whole media empire — is not me. I’m being directed to do it.

Now again, I could be wrong. Maybe it is me. But I don’t think so. I mean, I was an idiot kid, a stupid kid. What happened? All of a sudden I’m a genius? No. I’m being directed.

Why do you think that there is so much sneering and ridicule toward religion by people who don’t believe?

Because they don’t want to be judged. They believe that religious people are judging their behavior, and they don’t want to be judged. They want to do what they want.

Take a guy like Bill Maher. He’s probably the most visible atheist in the American media. Well, Bill Maher does not want to be told what to do. He wants to do whatever he wants. And if it’s take drugs, he wants to be able to do that. If it’s commit adultery, he wants to be able to do that. Whatever it may be, he doesn’t want anybody telling him not to. And the people that would do that would be religious people, so he strikes out against them.

I believe that these things that come into my mind — not only Killing Jesus but “The Factor” and the way that I’ve been able to build this whole media empire — is not me. I’m being directed to do it.

But his thinking is ridiculous. I saw him one time mocking the Virgin Mary in a very crude way, which he does. Am I offended? No. I understand where it’s coming from. But it’s stupid.

I’ve debated the most intellectual atheists in the world. The British guy. All the people who make an industry out of mocking people of faith. I’ve debated them all. And none of them can explain how the universe got here, how everything works so perfectly in nature, how the human body interacts, none of them, they have no clue. Despite all the science and all the technology, everything we have, they don’t know. Yet they have the nerve to mock people who believe that there’s something higher than human intellect?

It’s just appalling to me. But I don’t get into it so much. They’re free to believe what they want as long as they don’t try to hurt people — and some of them do. That’s when I step in.

People hurt other people in the name of religion, too. 

Certainly — look at the Muslim situation. And the real rabid Christians. And they’re going to be held accountable for that.

Have you ever had a crisis of faith?

Not really. I’m a simple man. I keep it really simple. Look, I was blessed with a lot of things. Can I give back an hour a week? I mean, is that too much to ask? And that time is well spent for me, by the way. I’m sitting there thinking about spiritual things. You know, getting outside myself and thinking about the big picture, what I can do better, projects that I can launch that will help people. I do that in church.

I don’t have any problem with people disliking me, and I’ll tell you why: Who was the most hated person in Judea 2,000 years ago?

And then I read the Scriptures. I read them and I think about them and then, when the priest is boring me into shreds — and these priests are ridiculous. They don’t make it relevant. I don’t even listen to them. I just do on my own little deal. But I think it’s worth an hour a week for me to get out of myself and go into the church. I like the whole ritual. I think it’s worthy. I think it’s good for me. And I’ve never in one part of my life not tried to get to church every Sunday.

You said you pray every night. What kind of prayers?

Just standard prayers. If there’s a bad thing happening, I’ll think about it and try to say,Give me a little inspiration here on how to handle this thing. I try to be humble enough to say, Look, I don’t have it right now and I need some help. And it usually comes.

You dedicated your book to those who love their neighbors as themselves. I thought a lot of the O’Reilly haters would be surprised to see that dedication.

They’ll never read it, though. The O’Reilly haters are pretty much the people that have no idea what I do. And I like that — I mean, I don’t have any problem with people disliking me, and I’ll tell you why. I’m not comparing myself, but who was the most hated person in Judea 2,000 years ago?

Many, many loved him, but just as many despised him. They’re always going to do that. If you speak your mind, you’re going to have some who like you and some who hate you.

What about you and your book dedication? Do you love your neighbor as yourself?

I’m the biggest sinner on the block, so I’m kind of in a difficult area saying what I do and don’t do. If you’re a Christian, you’re supposed to love the evildoers. If they do something bad to you, then you’re supposed to still love them.

I don’t do that. I’m a warrior. I don’t turn the cheek. I go after you if I think you’re hurting people. But I think that’s loving your neighbor.

See, by getting Jessica’s Law passed in 45 out of 50 states — and “The Factor” did that — I think that’s loving my neighbor. I’m taking these predators off the street. I’m not turning the cheek on them. I’m going after them. I think that’s my role. I’m a warrior/defender.

If there weren’t warriors to defend, then we would have been overrun a long time ago by the Third Reich, right? So it’s not as simple as what it’s sometimes made out to be. I’m comfortable in my role, but I would never say I’m the guy who loves my neighbor all the time, because sometimes I’m taking my neighbor apart. It’s kind of complicated.

You say you’re the biggest sinner of all. What are your sins?

Everything. I’m a volatile guy. I’m not a Holy Roller. I’m not a malicious guy, but I’m like everybody else. I’m fallible. I’m not going to tell you, Sally Quinn, what my sins are. But I’m certainly fallible and I don’t put myself up as any paragon of virtue.

When you’re going after somebody as a warrior, do you sometimes pull back and think,Maybe I’m being too tough on this person?

That’s a good question. My staff is under strict orders: we don’t go [after someone] unless we’re 100% sure. So I don’t have anything on my conscience in that realm. In 18 years, I haven’t had to retract or apologize to anybody other than one time we took something off a web site that was incomplete.

If there were no God, there would be some people who couldn’t do anything, but every human being, even people who are damaged, even people who have birth defects, Down syndrome, whatever it may be, everybody has a talent. Everybody.

When you’re interviewing somebody like Obama, and you’re asking tough questions, do you see them as an adversary? 

Depends what the interview is. With the Obama situation, I respect the president, but my job is to get as much information out of him as I can. With everybody else, and I mean everybody — I mean, I couldn’t do it with the pope, but besides the pope and President Obama — there’s nobody on earth where I would say [to myself], “Well, you can’t be assertive, you can’t be rude.” Those are the two people I can’t be rude to because of the office.

You come in and you start to lie or dance, I’m going to come after you. But with the president it’s different, because you have to respect the office. And I do. I respect him. But I’m not going to let him control the interview. That’s not happening.

Have you ever been to a silent retreat?

I haven’t. I’ve never been to a psychiatrist. I’ve never been to an analyst. I’ve never been to a silent retreat. I’m just not that introspective in the sense that I don’t do yoga, I don’t do TM [Transcendental Meditation]. I’m more active. But I respect people who do all that. It’s just not my style.

I don’t need a lot of help, so if I want to be silent, I’ll be silent by myself. I don’t have to go someplace.

Who do you admire?

I admire people who are making $40,000 a year and living an honest life. Life is hard. I don’t like phonies. I don’t like liars. I don’t like narcissists. I like the regular folks.

How would you like to be remembered?

I don’t want to be remembered. Once I’m gone, I’m gone. I don’t care.

Are you afraid of dying?

No, not at all. My time is up, I’m going.

Most people are looking for some kind of meaning in their lives. What gives you the most meaning in your life?

You find something that you like. Everybody’s born with talents, which is another reason I believe in God. If there were no God, there would be some people who couldn’t do anything, but every human being, even people who are damaged, even people who have birth defects, Down syndrome, whatever it may be, everybody has a talent. Everybody. So you find out what that talent is, and usually it corresponds to what you like to do. Then you work at that talent. You develop the talent. You make a living from the talent. That’s the key to having a meaningful life on the professional level.

My father was a very funny guy. I mean, he was hysterical. But he never used that talent and he was a low-level accountant. He didn’t make a lot of money and he was miserable. He’d go to work. He had to support his family, but he didn’t like his job. And I said to myself, I’m never going to be like that. I stuck to it.

Do you think that you’ll ever stop?

Yes, I do. I’m tired now, so I’ve got to cut it back soon. I just don’t know when that will be.

Piers Morgan and CNN Plan End to His Prime-Time Show

Piers Morgan and CNN Plan End to His Prime-Time Show

FEB. 23, 2014

Launch media viewer
Piers Morgan, shown in 2011, is British and struggled to connect with American viewers. The ratings for his live program suffered. Chester Higgins Jr./The New York Times

There have been times when the CNN host Piers Morgan didn’t seem to like America very much — and American audiences have been more than willing to return the favor. Three years aftertaking over for Larry King, Mr. Morgan has seen the ratings for “Piers Morgan Live” hit some new lows, drawing a fraction of viewers compared with competitors at Fox News and MSNBC.

It’s been an unhappy collision between a British television personality who refuses to assimilate — the only football he cares about is round and his lectures on guns were rife with contempt — and a CNN audience that is intrinsically provincial. After all, the people who tune into a cable news network are, by their nature, deeply interested in America.

CNN’s president, Jeffrey Zucker, has other problems, but none bigger than Mr. Morgan and his plum 9 p.m. time slot. Mr. Morgan said last week that he and Mr. Zucker had been talking about the show’s failure to connect and had decided to pull the plug, probably in March.

Crossing an ocean for a replacement for Larry King, who had ratings problems of his own near the end, was probably not a great idea to begin with. For a cable news station like CNN, major stories are like oxygen. When something important or scary happens in America, many of us have an immediate reflex to turn on CNN. When I find Mr. Morgan telling me what it all means, I have a similar reflex to dismiss what he is saying. It is difficult for him to speak credibly on significant American events because, after all, he just got here.

I received a return call from Mr. Morgan and was prepared for an endless argument over my assumptions. Not so. His show, he conceded, was not performing as he had hoped and was nearing its end.

“It’s been a painful period and lately we have taken a bath in the ratings,” he said, adding that although there had been times when the show connected in terms of audience, slow news days were problematic.

“Look, I am a British guy debating American cultural issues, including guns, which has been very polarizing, and there is no doubt that there are many in the audience who are tired of me banging on about it,” he said. “That’s run its course and Jeff and I have been talking for some time about different ways of using me.”

Mr. Morgan said that his show, along with much of the rest of CNN, had been imprisoned by the news cycle and that he was interested in doing fewer appearances to greater effect — big, major interviews that would be events in themselves. Although a change has long been rumored, it was the first time that both he, and the CNN executives I talked to, acknowledged that his nightly show was on the way out. Plans for a replacement at the 9 o’clock hour are still underway, but Mr. Morgan and the network are in talks about him remaining at CNN in a different role.

Mr. Zucker, the former chief of NBC, inherited Mr. Morgan from Jonathan Klein, his predecessor, but it is now his problem to fix. In the year he has been there, CNN has introduced promising shows around the edges and will be unveiling documentaries along the lines of the very successful “Blackfish” to run on Thursday in the 10 p.m. hour.

But the chronic troubles of prime-time remain. Sometime before the network “upfront” events in April, when advertisers buy commercial time for the fall season, Mr. Zucker needs to signal how he will fix CNN’s prime-time problem, and that begins with Mr. Morgan, whose contract ends in September.

Mr. Morgan has some significant skills that do translate across platforms and cultures. While working as a newspaper editor and television personality in Britain, he was involved in a number of controversies, but he developed a reputation as a talented, probing interviewer. In his current role, he has shown an ability not only to book big guests — former President Bill Clinton, Warren Buffett, the real Wolf of Wall Street among them — but also to dig in once they are on set.

“I think I can credibly do news and the ratings reflect that, but it is not really the show that I set out to do,” he told me. “There are all kinds of people who can do news here. I’d like to do work — interviews with big celebrities and powerful people — that is better suited to what I do well and fit with what Jeff is trying to do with the network.”

Old hands in the television news business suggest that there are two things a presenter cannot have: an accent or a beard. Mr. Morgan is clean shaven and handsome enough, but there are tells in his speech — the way he says the president’s name for one thing (Ob-AA-ma) — that suggest that he is not from around here.

There are other tells as well. On Friday morning, criticizing the decision to dismiss a cricket player, he tweeted, “I’m sure @StuartBroad8 is right and KP’s sacking will ‘improve performance’ of the England team. Look forward to seeing this at T20 WC.” Mr. Morgan might want to lay off the steady cricket references if he is worried about his credibility with American audiences. (His endless trolling of his critics on Twitter did not exactly help, either.)

People might point to Simon Cowell as a man with an accent and a penchant for slashing discourse that Americans loved, but Mr. Cowell is dealing with less-than-spontaneous musical performances, not signal events in the American news narrative. There was, of course, the counterexample ofDavid Frost, who did important work in news, but Mr. Frost did popular special reports and was not a chronic presence in American living rooms.

Mr. Morgan, who was chosen in spite of that fact that he had never done a live show, had the misfortune of sliding into the loafers of Mr. King, who, for all his limitations, was a decent and reliable stand-in for the average Joe.

In a sense, Mr. Morgan is a prisoner of two islands: Britain and Manhattan. While I may share his feelings about the need for additional strictures on guns, having grown up in the Midwest, I know that many people come by their guns honestly and hold onto them dearly for sincere reasons.

Mr. Morgan’s approach to gun regulation was more akin to King George III, peering down his nose at the unruly colonies and wondering how to bring the savages to heel. He might have wanted to recall that part of the reason the right to bear arms is codified in the Constitution is that Britain was trying to disarm the citizenry at the time.

He regrets none of it, but clearly understands his scolding of “stupid” opponents of gun laws was not everyone’s cup of tea.

“I’m in danger of being the guy down at the end of the bar who is always going on about the same thing,” he said. He added that he was sure there were plenty of people in the heartland angry “about this British guy telling them how to lead their lives and what they should do with their guns.”

In the current media age, no one is expected to be a eunuch, without values or beliefs, but Mr. Morgan’s lecturing on the evils of guns have clanked hard against the CNN brand, which, for good or ill, is built on the middle way.

We don’t look for moral leadership from CNN, or from a British host on a rampage. Guns, along with many other great and horrible things, are knit into the fabric of this country. There are folkways peculiar to America that Mr. Morgan is just learning, including the fact that if you want to stick out, you first have to work on fitting in.