On radio this morning, David Barton called into the show to talk to Stu and Pat about the recent attacks on religious freedom being perpetuated by the Obama administration. Barton discussed Harry Reid's tactics to keep the Blunt Conscience Protection Amendment out of the latest legislation, as well as the effect that Beck fans have had in helping push back against the attacks on faith.
Read the rush transcript of the interview below:
PAT: 1‑888‑727‑BECK. Pat and Stu for Glenn who is doing something pretty big now and he'll have all the details for you Monday. In the meantime, we have David Barton on the line. David, welcome to the Glenn Beck Program.
BARTON: Hey, guys. Thanks for having me. Good to be with you.
PAT: You've been following pretty closely, I think, this whole development about the attack against faith and conscience and the Catholic church. What's ‑‑ what's the latest that you have about what's going on with this and how this supposed compromise is going down?
BARTON: Yeah. What happened is, of course, yesterday Glenn talked about it a good bit and I will tell you, it had a big impact, no question about it. I talked to senators in DC and their phones were lit up. Actually folks had trouble calling through the switchboard number because there was so much coming in.
BARTON: And so that's really good news. People responded. They made their voice heard and they did so in such a way that actually caused Senator Reid to take a different course of tactics. It looked like yesterday or the day before Senator Reid was going to allow the Blunt Conscience Protection Bill to come up and, you know, the things folks have got to understand on this thing is this is not about the Catholic church, it is not about contraception, it is not about abortion. This is conscience protection for everybody.
BARTON: And this has been going on with this administration for three and a half years. I can go through a litany of what they've been doing, but most recently it's the Catholic church. So, Blunt's got this bill. It was coming up yesterday. All these calls were coming there and then the White House and the press secretary jumps out and says, No way, Obama is not backing off this, he's sticking right with it, and they're getting inundated with calls. So, then here comes Reid and he says, Okay, I'm going to take this amendment off. You're not going to be able to vote.
And the way they do that in the Senate ‑‑ you really can't kill an amendment in the Senate. You have to let amendments go through. In the House you can kill amendments. You run it through the rules committee and no amendment is allowed to come to the floor of the House unless the rules committee approves it. In the Senate you can bring an amendment to the floor, you know, any time you want to if you can get through the procedure.
So, what ‑‑ and I hate to sound complicated, but here's what Reid did. He filled it up with what's called perfecting amendments. In other words, every slot that was left, he said, I've got an amendment and he just started loading it up with his own amendments so that there was no time left for any other amendment. He just filled it up with everything he can think of.
BARTON: He's basically taken over all the time and what it means as a result is that they're going to have to have a cloture vote on all of his amendments that have come up. They'll probably do that Friday. So, unless ‑‑
PAT: So, it didn't happen yesterday, in other words?
BARTON: It did not happen. And if they can get 60 votes on Friday, then it's not going to happen, they've killed Blunt's Conscience Protection. I don't think they can get 60 votes. There's too many Republicans on this thing and some Democrats, as well, which probably means after Friday Reid's plan will go down. So, right now if things go as we think it will go, probably the week of February 27th Blunt's amendment will come back up on Conscience Protection.
So, it really worked yesterday. Lots of pressure put Reid in a tough spot and rather than backing off, he's bowed up his back and said, You're not going to tell me what to do and so he's taking over all the time on the floor from now through the end of the week, essentially.
STU: I will say, David, if he did say that, he said it a lot more boring than you sounded. He never sounds that excited. You can go to glennbeck.com, by the way, and get all the details on who to call and the numbers and everything else. You go there now and see We're All Catholics that Glenn's been talking about the last couple of days and it's huge.
By the way, I was looking through one of these polls that came out about this issue, David, and, you know, I thought this was a key ‑‑ a key thing that no one's really talked about which is, you know, Catholics have obviously, you think, would be the most ‑‑ most ‑‑ most offended and I think every faith has to be offended because this is such an overstep by the Federal Government, but when you look at ‑‑ the question was asked was the question brought up by the clergy at church. Now, there was a letter that was supposed to be read in every church or at least almost every church; is that right?
BARTON: Well, in Catholic churches, Catholic churches came out with a letter to be read and you probably know the military side because Catholic military chaplains would read it, as well, and the Obama administration Department of Defense folks stepped in and said, wait a minute, we've got to edit that letter before you read it and they actually marked out parts of the pastoral letter for military chaplains to read which is another conscience violation.
STU: Yeah, but this is supposed to go ‑‑
BARTON: The government doesn't get to mark out what you say. There was a letter to be read and that's what ‑‑ that's what all Catholics were to read to their congregations on that Sunday.
STU: It was supposed to go to all congregations, but listen to this stat from the polls. Was it brought up by clergy at church? Among Catholics that attend church weekly, only 32% say "yes."
STU: And that is a major problem. No wonder there's not this revolt. No wonder the Obama administration beliefs they can get away with it. If only 32% of people are hearing about this that are going to church every week in the Catholic church, they're just depending on people not knowing about the issue.
BARTON: And that's where, you know, what Glenn's got going, we're all Catholics now is ‑‑ well, that's just that population. There's a bunch of us, millions that know about it now that aren't necessarily in the Catholic church and we're making our voice heard. So, if they counted on it being a Catholic only issue and being silenced because only 32% heard, that didn't work out. Now millions and millions know about it and this thing really has taken off. There's been a whole coalition of groups and folks that have made this a huge issue as Glenn has and so if that's what the administration counted on, it backfired.
PAT: So, David, what do we do? Do we continue to call senators?
BARTON: Well, this is ‑‑ I've got to be careful how I say this, but this is one of the problems with conservatives. We tend to get riled up and get inspired to do something and we don't tend to stay in there very long.
PAT: Right. Yeah.
BARTON: And so, you know, he all got riled up yesterday. We shut the switchboards down. We let the senators know what we think and they're counting on us not really staying on this thing until the 27th of February or whenever they bring this up. So, they try to outlast us, they try to wear us down, and then we'll all get discouraged and say it doesn't matter because they all do the same thing and so what we've got to do is we've got to keep the pressure on and the heat on and we've got to call the senators and say, I'm outraged that you wouldn't let your leader get away with killing all the amendments. What happened to free speech and ‑‑ you know, whatever it takes for us to express. We cannot go away on this thing until we win this and, you know, the House will come up later in the year, but the Senate is up right now. We didn't think the Senate would be up until much later in the year, but this is a ‑‑ I really think that when they started this, they hoped to do it real quick, before pressure got put on. They got so much pressure yesterday that they said, whoops, let's back off. So, we're really driving them right now, but we just can't let them outlast us or outwait us. We've got to keep the pressure on.
PAT: So, we need longer attention spans this time?
BARTON: Exactly right. We don't need to microwave mentality on this thing. We're here to say.
PAT: Yeah. Keep the pressure on. All right. And you can go to glennbeck.com and find out how to get a hold of your senator and by the way, you have two of them. If you don't know them, that's probably a problem at this point. Probably a problem, but ‑‑
STU: Would you say?
PAT: Yeah. Not that hard to find out. David, thanks a lot. Appreciate all you do.
BARTON: Thanks, guys. Thanks for all you're doing.
PAT: All right. David Barton. You know, it's nice that it had an impact yesterday, but like David said, we've got to keep it up.
PAT: We have to keep going.
STU: It's all about diligence.