Under God: Indivisible

On radio this morning, Glenn interviewed Pastor James Robison about the "Under God: Indivisible" event being held the week of Restoring Love.

Transcript:

GLENN: Restoring Love, when we first did Restoring Honor in Washington D.C., it was a one‑day thing and then we added a spiritual event on the Friday night before, and Tania and I rented out the Kennedy Center. And I'll never forget because everything, everything was against us. The Kennedy Center, nobody wanted to come and put that thing together. Nobody ‑‑ the Kennedy Center did not want us there. They threatened to shut us down. They said that we couldn't pray there and they said, "Well, it will just be an opening prayer and a closing prayer." And I said, "No, get them back on the phone and tell them that I'm going to have them pray, every speaker is going to pray. Go ahead. Cancel us." And they ended up not cancelling us, but they hated us every second we were there. They hated us.

And then we went to Jerusalem and we did the second chapter, Restoring Courage. This is the last chapter. This is it. Restoring Love. Honor, courage, love. This one is the most elaborate. On Thursday night the American Airlines Center here in Dallas, Texas is having an event called I think Restoring Freedom and it is from Freedom Works and it is Free PAC. Tickets are on sale for that. They're over halfway sold, I think. It's going to be an amazing thing. People coming from all over the world. I'm going to be speaking there. Some huge names are going to be speaking there. That's a political event but not a party political event.

Then that morning on the Friday, the 27th, we have ‑‑ I believe this is the largest food, food drive ever attempted in America. There are 12 cities. We're trying to fill all these semis up and send them to 12 different cities to fill their soup kitchens. Plus already 25,000 volunteers have volunteered to come in with their families and work few a few hours, work at schools, work at libraries, work in the inner city, clean up neighborhoods, clean up parks, 25,000 people. The coordination of this is amazing. That afternoon there is something else that is going, Under God, Indivisible. James Robison who is a friend of mine, he got together and put together a huge meeting of the minds with pastors and priests and rabbis to come together and talk about the principles of America and what should be said on the pulpit. James Robison is here now with us. Hi, James.

ROBISON: Hey, Glenn. How are you?

GLENN: I'm very good. It was good to see ‑‑ what city were we in when I saw you last?

ROBISON: Denver.

GLENN: In Denver just last week, and you introduced me and you were ‑‑ you were so kind.

ROBISON: Well, you connected. You didn't think you did. You hit it out of the park. It was great and everyone was thrilled beyond words. I want to ask you this. You told me you were going away to be with God and your family which, you know, every time we talk, we talk about the importance of Jesus did that to get up along with God, how important it is for us, especially church leaders who did it so seldom. How was your time with God and family?

GLENN: It was great, James. In fact, you could barely get me off the mountain. It was really fantastic and, you know, I wrote to my business partner on the plane back and I said, I wrote him, you know, just a deal and he ‑‑ he wrote to me ‑‑ when I got off the plane, he wrote to me and he said, "I can tell this was settling because your note is so clear and so simple. I haven't seen a note like this from you in a long time." So it was, it was very settling.

So James, tell me who you've put together for this event on Friday.

ROBISON: Well, it's remarkable. We start in the afternoon and I ‑‑ at 2:30, and I really encourage people to make it an all‑day event. You can get a meal. We will go 2:30 until 5:00, have a meal and then come back with Phillips, Craig and Dean at 2:30 and then the speakers beginning at 7:00. But in the afternoon we're going to have several briefings. One of them will be from the defense, Alliance Defense Fund and they are going to talk about what actually is in healthcare in this package that is imposing an all‑out assault on the community of faith, those who value the preciousness of life as an example, as well as to let church leaders know how they can take a stand when so many of the moral and principle issues have been drug into the ‑‑ dragged into the political arena and how they can stand for virtue. We're also going to have a businessman show how we can take a penny, 1 cent, and balance the budget. This is quite amazing. You're going to be hearing some very dynamic speakers. Plus all of our panelist of speakers from the evening will be there. We will actually be taking some questions in the afternoon from the audience. But you're going to be hearing from Dr. Tony Evans; Dr. David Jeremiah; from Franklin Graham; Dr. Ravi Zacharias; my pastor and the one you listen to so often, Robert Morris; father Jonathan Morris who's seen so frequently on the Fox News. He's such a tremendous Catholic ‑‑

GLENN: He's a good guy.

ROBISON: ‑‑ representative; Samuel Rodriguez, who touches 30,000 Hispanic churches and is just a real leader; you'll hear from Kenneth Copeland; you'll hear from Jay Richards, who co‑authored the book Indivisible with me; pastor John Hagee; Rabbi Spiro, who is probably one of the great economic minds; pastor of one of the largest countries in the country, in First Baptist Orlando, pastor David Uth. You'll hear also from Richard Land, who is the head of the ethics commission for Southern Baptist which is the largest denomination in the country; Bishop Harry Jackson; Dr. Ken Hutcherson; Chris Hodges, who is a representative chosen by the ARC churches which are some of the powerful, largest, fastest growing churches consisting of young people, probably average age from 28 to 32, and they selected Chris Hodges. Jim Garlow will also be speaking; John Hagee. It's going to be a tremendous, tremendous evening. As a matter of fact, if we do not have a spiritual awakening which really puts the emphasis on the power of love. And, you know, love doesn't mean that you refuse to warn people of the danger of their precarious direction and our perilous course, but it does it with compassion. You know, the spirit of God is redemptive. The spirit of the enemy, the liar, the murderer, the deceiver as Jesus called him, the accused of the brethren, that spirit is a spirit of destruction. And that spirit is prevailing in Washington, it is prevailing in an assault on the family and on relationships and on influence and personal responsibility. It's an all‑out assault to destroy the basic foundation that enabled us to become the most prosperous, benevolent nation in history.

GLENN: So I know that ‑‑ I know that, you know, these pastors and priests and rabbis are getting together and I know you're going to talk a little about what should be said from the pulpits and how to say it and the things that, you know, have to warn the flock about, et cetera, et cetera. But people who are going there, are you guys going to touch on at all on ‑‑ you know, let's say I'm a, I'm a Catholic. Or let's just use my ‑‑ I'm a Mormon and my church doesn't really work this way but I mean, I'm a Mormon and so I have this ‑‑ you know, I have this pastor who's I think just going off the rails and I go, I go talk to him and, you know, he's on the wrong side of the issue. What do I do? How do I most effect and help my church get back onto the right track?

ROBISON: Glenn, as you know, that's the reason I joined with a Catholic philosopher as an evangelical protestant to write the book Indivisible: Restoring Faith, Family and Freedom Before It's Too Late. We have actually given the textbook to the parishioners, to the congregation, to the church members as well as to the shepherds who may have chosen to be silent and be more like hirelings than shepherds. We have actually laid out the ground rules and here's what's going to happen at this conference. We're going to show people the imperative of people of faith, those who value faith, family and friend coming together as a mighty coalition. I know that's a political term, but as a power base of influence to correct our nation's course. If we don't do it, we will not correct the course. It will not simply be done by political party because political parties, each one need to make some corrections. And the church, the people of faith are to hold up a standard that points people of fact to the reliable course, to the safe course, to the sound foundation. We're going to so equip people, so inspire people that they're going to go out and realize that we're going to have some differences.

You know, you were helped as a person who was desperate with an alcohol problem and other issues. You found some compassionate people who helped you and you also referenced AA as being a contributor.

GLENN: Mmm‑hmmm.

ROBISON: Today when people get in trouble, rather than finding a friend or finding a compassionate connection and a compassion connection like you're talking about in Restoring Love, we simply wait for the government to send us a check. That's kind of like keeping the prodigal son in the pig pen and make him a little bit more comfortable or make people as comfortable as they can be in the ditch that they dug with their rotten choices. We have got to allow pressure and problems to bring us and literally move us toward help.

GLENN: You know, I don't ‑‑

ROBISON: And help is not Pharaoh, Caesar or the federal government. It comes from our neighbor, loving God and loving one another. We're going to show that Catholics and protestants ‑‑ let me give you one example: Catholics and protestants alone, if they would stand up for what they say they believe, could change everything in this country immediately. There is ‑‑ that's the numerical base. That's the faith base. That is the pro family, pro marriage, pro freedom base, pro faith base that can turn this ship. And we've got to get them to register, we've got to get them to get informed and be inspired enough to get active. And that is what we as church leaders, coming together, knowing that we've got some theological differences, maintain the freedom. We've got the right to discuss our differences and take a stand. If we don't turn this ship of state, we are sunk, and that is no exaggeration.

GLENN: Well, James, you can go to, is it under God, indivisible?

ROBISON: It's dfw.undergodindivisible.

GLENN: Dot‑org.

ROBISON: Dfw ‑‑ right. That's exactly right.

GLENN: Dfw.undergodindivisible.org. Tickets are 5 bucks and you can go in and you can see all these great speakers. And it's just, it will be a spiritual ‑‑ it will be a spiritual moment. And James, am I come ‑‑ am I speaking that night or not?

ROBISON: Yes, you are.

GLENN: Okay.

ROBISON: You said, can I come. You're the one that inspired us to come together. The whole media is going to be looking all over the world to say what are these church leaders going to say.

GLENN: Mmm‑hmmm.

ROBISON: And Glenn, I know you have such gratitude for what church leaders are doing who are willing to stand up.

GLENN: I do.

ROBISON: And be a light piercing the darkness.

GLENN: And I ‑‑

ROBISON: Not remain in silence and comfort and compromise. And you express such gratitude. You know how much I love you. We have developed a wonderful friendship and I believe that you are 100% right. It's love that never fails.

GLENN: Yep.

ROBISON: And we've got to return to love.

GLENN: James, I appreciate it and I tell you, I support any, any faith that will stand up for true principles and say them. I'm not ‑‑ I'm not for anybody getting up and saying who you should vote for or a party or something like that, but to stand up and say these are true principles and these are God's laws. What do the founders say? Nature's laws and ‑‑

ROBISON: Nature's God.

GLENN: And nature's God. They're clear over and over and over again, and anybody who will stand up I stand with. And I thank you so much for everything that you've done, James, and we'll talk to you again. If you want ‑‑

ROBISON: Well, I pray everyone who's going to be coming to Restoring Love will go ahead and make reservations on dfw.underGodindivisible.org. Come be with us.

GLENN: Thank you very much, James, I appreciate it. Find out all the information. If you don't remember that address by the time you get to work or wherever you're going, just go to MercuryOne.org and it will be up. We'll put it up on the front page. Tell somebody to put it up on the front page in case it's not there. But just go to one of the websites that you can remember and we'll make sure that it is posted there. Very worthwhile, spiritual event. Make sure you're there. Tickets start at 5 bucks. So it's no big deal. We'll go to MercuryOne.org and get your seat now.

The themes of healing and redemption appear throughout the Bible.

Our bodies are buried in brokenness, but they will be raised in glory. They are buried in weakness, but they will be raised in strength. — 1 Corinthians 15:43
It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners. — Mark 2:17.

So, for many Christians, it's no surprise to hear that people of faith live longer lives.

Heal me, O Lord, and I shall be healed; save me, and I shall be saved, for you are my praise. — Jeremiah 17:14.

But it is certainly lovely to hear, and a recent study by a doctoral student at Ohio State University is just one more example of empirical evidence confirming the healing benefits of faith and religious belief.

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Moreover, the study finds that religious belief can lengthen a person's life.

A joyful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones. — Proverbs 17:22
Lord, your discipline is good, for it leads to life and health. You restore my health and allow me to live! — Isaiah 38:16

The study analyzed over 1,000 obituaries nationwide and found that people of faith lived longer than people who were not religious. Laura Wallace, lead author of the study, noted that "religious affiliation had nearly as strong an effect on longevity as gender does, which is a matter of years of life."

The study notes that, "people whose obits mentioned a religious affiliation lived an average of 5.64 years longer than those whose obits did not, which shrunk to 3.82 years after gender and marital status were considered."

And He called to Him His twelve disciples and gave them authority over unclean spirits, to cast them out, and to heal every disease and every affliction. — Matthew 10:1

"The researchers found that part of the reason for the boost in longevity came from the fact that many religiously affiliated people also volunteered and belonged to social organizations, which previous research has linked to living longer. The study provides persuasive evidence that there is a relationship between religious participation and how long a person lives," said Baldwin Way, co-author of the study and associate professor of psychology at Ohio State.

Prayer is good medicine, and faith is a good protector.

In addition, the study showed how the effects of religion on longevity might depend in part on the personality and average religiosity of the cities where people live, Way said.

Prayer is good medicine, and faith is a good protector.

And the power of the Lord was with him to heal. — Luke 5:17
Heal the sick in it and say to them, The kingdom of God has come near to you. — Luke 10:9

In early June, the Social Security and Medicare trustees released their annual report on the fiscal health of these programs, and the situation looks dire. Medicare is scheduled to run out of money in 2026 (three years sooner than anticipated), while Social Security is expected to run out in 2034. The rising national debt is only one of the well-known financial struggles the millennial generation faces. The burdens of student loan debt, high housing prices (thanks to zoning restrictions), stagnant wage growth, the rising cost of healthcare and lingering aftershocks of the Great Recession are among the biggest sources of economic anxiety millennials feel.

Progressive politicians have been very successful at courting the youth vote, partly because they actually promote policy ideas that address many of these concerns. As unrealistic or counterproductive as Senator Bernie Sanders' proposals for single-payer health care or a $15 an hour minimum wage might be, they feel in theory like they would provide the economic stability and prosperity millennials want.

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Republicans, on the other hand, have struggled to craft a message to address these concerns. Fiscal conservatives recognize, correctly, that the burden of the $20 trillion national debt and over $200 trillion in unfunded liabilities will fall on millennials. Some conservatives have even written books about that fact. But the need to reform entitlements hasn't exactly caught millennials' attention. Pollster Kristen Soltis Anderson, in her book The Selfie Vote, notes that millennials generally view protecting the safety net as more important than reducing the deficit.

Clearly, Republicans have a problem. They need to craft solutions that address the millennial generation's struggles, but they can't seem to sell entitlement reform, their biggest policy preference that addresses those problems. The Republican approach to wooing millennials on policy is failing because talking about stopping the debt from reaching an unsustainable level is long-term and abstract, and offers few immediate tangible benefits. A new approach to both pave the way for entitlement reform and give millennials an immediate financial boost is to first reform not entitlement spending, but the payroll tax: specifically, by partially (or wholly) replacing it with a value-added tax.

Under the current Social Security model, workers pay for the benefits of current retirees through the payroll tax. This system creates the illusion of a pension program, in which what you put in is what you get out, but in reality Social Security is a universal safety net program for the elderly paid for by taxes. The payroll tax falls on workers and is a tax on labor, while the value-added tax (VAT) is a tax on consumption imposed at every part of the production process. Assuming that this policy change is revenue-neutral, switching to a VAT will shift the responsibility for funding Social Security and Medicare away from workers, disproportionately poorer and younger, and onto everyone participating in the economy as a whole. Furthermore, uncoupling Social Security funding from payroll taxes would pave the way for fiscal reforms to transform the program from a universal benefit program to one geared specifically to eliminating old-age poverty, such as means-testing benefits for high-income beneficiaries, indexing benefits to prices rather than wages or changing the retirement age.

Switching from the payroll tax to the VAT would address both conservative and liberal tax policy preferences.

Switching from the payroll tax to the VAT would address both conservative and liberal tax policy preferences. As the Tax Policy Center notes, the change would actually make the tax system more progressive. The current payroll tax is regressive, meaning that people with lower incomes tend to pay a higher effective tax rate than people with higher incomes. On the other hand, the value-added tax is much closer to proportional than the payroll tax, meaning that each income group pays closer to the same effective tax rate.

For Republicans, such a change would fit conservative economic ideas about the long-run causes of economic growth. A value-added tax has a much broader base than the payroll tax, and therefore would allow for much lower marginal tax rates, and lower marginal tax rates mean smaller disincentives to economic activity. According to the Tax Foundation's analysis of a value-added tax, the VAT would be a more economically efficient revenue source than most other taxes currently in the tax code.

Not only would replacing part or all of the payroll tax provide an immediate benefit to millennial taxpayers, it would also open the door for the much-needed entitlement reforms that have been so politically elusive. Furthermore, it would make the tax code both more pro-growth and less regressive. In order to even begin to address the entitlement crisis, win millennial support and stimulate the economy in a fiscally responsible manner, Republicans must propose moving from the payroll tax to the VAT.

Alex Muresianu is a Young Voices Advocate. His writing has appeared in Townhall and The Federalist. He is a federal policy intern at the Tax Foundation. Opinions expressed here are his only and not the views of the Tax Foundation. He can be found on Twitter @ahardtospell.

Glenn was joined by Alanna Sarabia from "Good Morning Texas" at Mercury Studios on Thursday for an exclusive look at Mercury Museum's new "Rights & Responsibilities" exhibit. Open through Father's Day, the temporary museum features artifacts from pop culture, America's founding, World Ward II and more, focusing on the rights and responsibilities America's citizens.

Get tickets and more information here.

Watch as Glenn gives a sneak peek at some of the unique artifacts on display below.

History at the Mercury Museum

Alanna Sarabia interviews Glenn Beck for "Good Morning Texas" at Mercury Studios.

Several months ago, at the Miss Universe competition, two women took a selfie, then posted it on Instagram. The caption read, "Peace and love." As a result of that selfie, both women faced death threats, and one of the women, along with her entire family, had to flee her home country. The occasion was the 2017 Miss Universe competition, and the women were Miss Iraq and Miss Israel. Miss Iraq is no longer welcome in her own country. The government threatened to strip her of her crown. Of course, she was also badgered for wearing a bikini during the competition.

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In an interview, Miss Iraq, Sarah Idan, said:

When I posted the picture I didn't think for a second there would be blowback. I woke up to calls from my family and the Miss Iraq Organization going insane. The death threats I got online were so scary. The director of the Miss Iraq Organization called me and said they're getting heat from the ministry. He said I have to take the picture down or they will strip me of my title.

Yesterday, Miss Iraq, Sarah Idan, posted another selfie with Miss Israel, during a visit to Jerusalem.

In an interview, she said that:

I don't think Iraq and Israel are enemies; I think maybe the governments are enemies with each other. There's a lot of Iraqi people that don't have a problem with Israelis.

This is, of course, quite an understatement: Iraq, home to roughly 15,000 Palestinians, refuses to acknowledge Israel as a legitimate country, as it is technically at war with Israel. The adages says that a picture is worth a thousand words. What are we to do when many of those words are hateful or deadly? And how can we find the goodness in such bad situations?