The new Civil Rights fight: Protecting freedom of religion

Pastor Ken Hutcherson and Rabbi Daniel Lapin joined Glenn on the radio show this morning to talk about the new Civil Rights movement they see developing in American. For Hutcherson, who lived through the Civil Rights fight of the 1960s, the similarities he sees between then and now are staggering. Race may no longer be an issue, but our freedom of religion is under attack.

“I have to tell you it is a very, very rare occasion where I am in a room and I am the least controversial figure in the room,” Glenn joked. “Rabbi Daniel Lapin is here. He's the president of the American Alliance of Jews and Christians and also Ken Hutcherson. He is the pastor at the Antioch Bible Church in Seattle, Washington, and has been in the fight on multiple levels his whole life. [He is] also former Dallas Cowboy, and I think that's worth mentioning.”

During the Restoring Honor Rally in Washington D.C., David Barton, Pastor Hutcherson, Rabbi Lapin and others revived the Black Robe Regiment. It has since gone to work quietly – providing leadership in communities around the country. But given the threat religion faces in the United States today, Glenn thinks it time for that to change. He believes the group needs to move to the forefront.

“I think things need to change and that's why I asked you and other members of the Black‑Robe Regiment to come today,” Glenn said. “What do you think – where do you think we are historically? And where do you think we're headed?”

“Well, you know, I think that one of the mistakes that we all make is we look back at the Sixties and we say that was the Civil Rights Movement. The reality is that there are a lot of civil rights that we Americans are blessed with and many natural rights,” Rabbi Lapin explained. “The racial struggle of the Sixties was one. It was a subset of a vaster expanse. It's just that the others did not appear to be under threat back then. Now it is becoming increasingly evident to almost everybody but a recent immigrant from outer Mongolia, illegal immigrant I should mention that, yeah, that there are a lot of civil rights under attack now.”

For Pastor Hutcherson, who lived through the Civil Rights movement of the 1960s, the parallels he sees to today’s society are remarkable. “So all of a sudden now we're being discriminated against our equal rights, we're being discriminated against our constitutional rights, we're being discriminated against our Christian rights, and it's like it's apathy sitting there and we need to wake up.”

“What was it like growing up in Alabama in the 1960s,” Glenn asked. “You saw the Freedom Bus.”

“I saw it. I was there. 9-years-old. May 14, 1961. And I will never forget how angry I was,” Pastor Hutcherson said. “I was viciously angry. And the reason why I was angry was not at the white people because I've been treated that way all my life, not being able to get on the bus except in the back, two water fountains, colored and white water fountains. Three bathrooms: white females, white males, colored. And you had to knock on the door to make sure you didn't walk in on someone else of the opposite sex.”

“Sitting at the back counter, going to the back window, that's not something I heard. I lived that. I lived that, bro. I was there,” he continued. “Seeing the bus turn over, seeing it set afire, seeing the police come in sticking those big German shepherds on black people as they were, you know, leaving from the bus, no protection. And I hated Martin Luther King. I hated him with a passion. I thought that he was the worst thing that could ever happen to black people. You know why? Because he took a non-balanced stand and says don't fight back, serve those who's treating you that way, and be kind. I did not understand that as a young man and did not understand that until I became a Christian. And regardless how you feel about someone, you need to serve them and you need to love them.”

The Pastor explained that it was not Martin Luther King’s message of nonviolence that appealed to him, but the more violent and radical ideology of the Black Panthers. But everything changed when he found Christ.

“So what changed,” Glenn asked.

“I met Christ. When I became a Christian, I realized that I had hated white people for so long and had such a prejudice against whites, all of a sudden I meet Jesus and he's saying, you know what, I died on the cross for white people too,” Pastor Hutcherson explained. “And that broke me. I hadn't talked to my mother at that time in eight years… And after that two things happened: One was I had to call my mom and apologize, tell her I became a Christian. And then I had to say, okay, God, you have to turn me around and lead me to deal with white people.”

“Here’s the thing that you said to me on the plane yesterday that I thought was fascinating because I believe people don't realize yet,” Glenn said. “They still refuse to look into the abyss and they don't realize what is headed their way. Things are going to get much, much worse, especially when it comes to the violation of civil rights. And you said you work too hard as a black man to now fight it again. Explain.”

“Okay. I think it's pretty simple to understand. Growing up in Alabama, fighting all the civil rights issues, going in the back door, drinking from certain water fountains, not being able to go to school, down the street. I had to walk by three white schools to get to my all black school because I couldn't afford a bus. We had to walk.,” Pastor Hutcherson said. “And all that fighting to get equal rights came around. We won. Man, it's great. We're still fighting some issues. But after all that fighting to become equal as a black man, Glenn, I'm not up to putting up with having to fight all over again to get my equal rights as a Christian. Not going to happen.”

“And that's where we are,” Glenn said. “As we begin a new journey and a new historic movement that will be led by people in the pulpits. And if they don't, you know, we don't survive. But I'm convinced that I don't – I believe everybody has a calling in life. I believe you're called to things, and you don't need some big fancy education to do anything in life. What you need is passion, you need some intelligence to be able to figure out and study things out in your own mind, figure out how to find the answers you're looking for, and you need – you need the backbone to stand. And I think that if we just start teaching these universal principles, those who are too worried about their tithing and too worried about their congregation, you know, falling off, they are going to find themselves in the dustbin of history anyway. So it won't matter. And others will come in and replace them.”

Reform Conservatism and Reaganomics: A middle road?

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Senator Marco Rubio broke Republican ranks recently when he criticized the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act by stating that “there's no evidence whatsoever that the money's been massively poured back into the American worker." Rubio is wrong on this point, as millions of workers have received major raises, while the corporate tax cuts have led to a spike in capital expenditure (investment on new projects) of 39 percent. However, the Florida senator is revisiting an idea that was front and center in the conservative movement before Donald Trump rode down an escalator in June of 2015: reform conservatism.

RELATED: The problem with asking what has conservatism conserved

The "reformicons," like Rubio, supported moving away from conservative or supply-side orthodoxy and toward policies such as the expansion of the child and earned income tax credits. On the other hand, longstanding conservative economic theory indicates that corporate tax cuts, by lowering disincentives on investment, will lead to long-run economic growth that will end up being much more beneficial to the middle class than tax credits.

But asking people to choose between free market economic orthodoxy and policies guided towards addressing inequality and the concerns of the middle class is a false dichotomy.

Instead of advocating policies that many conservatives might dismiss as redistributionist, reformicons should look at the ways government action hinders economic opportunity and exacerbates income inequality. Changing policies that worsen inequality satisfies limited government conservatives' desire for free markets and reformicons' quest for a more egalitarian America. Furthermore, pushing for market policies that reduce the unequal distribution of wealth would help attract left-leaning people and millennials to small government principles.

Criminal justice reform is an area that reformicons and free marketers should come together around. The drug war has been a disaster, and the burden of this misguided government approach have fallen on impoverished minority communities disproportionately, in the form of mass incarceration and lower social mobility. Not only has the drug war been terrible for these communities, it's proved costly to the taxpayer––well over a trillion dollars has gone into the drug war since its inception, and $80 billion dollars a year goes into mass incarceration.

Prioritizing retraining and rehabilitation instead of overcriminalization would help address inequality, fitting reformicons' goals, and promote a better-trained workforce and lower government spending, appealing to basic conservative preferences.

Government regulations tend to disproportionately hurt small businesses and new or would-be entrepreneurs. In no area is this more egregious than occupational licensing––the practice of requiring a government-issued license to perform a job. The percentage of jobs that require licenses has risen from five percent to 30 percent since 1950. Ostensibly justified by public health concerns, occupational licensing laws have, broadly, been shown to neither promote public health nor improve the quality of service. Instead, they serve to provide a 15 percent wage boost to licensed barbers and florists, while, thanks to the hundreds of hours and expensive fees required to attain the licenses, suppressing low-income entrepreneurship, and costing the economy $200 billion dollars annually.

Those economic losses tend to primarily hurt low-income people who both can't start businesses and have to pay more for essential services. Rolling back occupational licenses will satisfy the business wing's desire for deregulation and a more free market and the reformicons' support for addressing income inequality and increasing opportunity.

The favoritism at play in the complex tax code perpetuates inequality.

Tax expenditures form another opportunity for common ground between the Rubio types and the mainstream. Tax deductions and exclusions, both on the individual and corporate sides of the tax code, remain in place after the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. Itemized deductions on the individual side disproportionately benefit the wealthy, while corporate tax expenditures help well-connected corporations and sectors, such as the fossil fuel industry.

The favoritism at play in the complex tax code perpetuates inequality. Additionally, a more complicated tax code is less conducive to economic growth than one with lower tax rates and fewer exemptions. Therefore, a simpler tax code with fewer deductions and exclusions would not only create a more level playing field, as the reformicons desire, but also additional economic growth.

A forward-thinking economic program for the Republican Party should marry the best ideas put forward by both supply-siders and reform conservatives. It's possible to take the issues of income inequality and lack of social mobility seriously, while also keeping mainstay conservative economic ideas about the importance of less cumbersome regulations and lower taxes.

Alex Muresianu is a Young Voices Advocate studying economics at Tufts University. He is a contributor for Lone Conservative, and his writing has appeared in Townhall and The Daily Caller. He can be found on Twitter @ahardtospell.

Is this what inclusivity and tolerance look like? Fox News host Tomi Lahren was at a weekend brunch with her mom in Minnesota when other patrons started yelling obscenities and harassing her. After a confrontation, someone threw a drink at her, the moment captured on video for social media.

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On today's show, Pat and Jeffy talked about this uncomfortable moment and why it shows that supposedly “tolerant" liberals have to resort to physical violence in response to ideas they don't like.

President Donald Trump has done a remarkable job of keeping his campaign promises so far. From pulling the US from the Iran Deal and Paris Climate Accord to moving the US Embassy to Jerusalem, the president has followed through on his campaign trail vows.

RELATED: The media's derangement over Trump has me wearing a new hat and predicting THIS for 2020

“It's quite remarkable. I don't know if anybody remembers, but I was the guy who was saying he's not gonna do any of those things," joked Glenn on “The News and Why it Matters," adding, “He has taken massive steps, massive movement or completed each of those promises … I am blown away."

Watch the video above to hear Glenn Beck, Sara Gonzales, Doc Thompson, Stu Burguiere and Pat Gray discuss the story.

Rapper Kendrick Lamar brings white fan onstage to sing with him, but here’s the catch

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Rapper Kendrick Lamar asked a fan to come onstage and sing with him, only to condemn her when she failed to censor all of the song's frequent mentions of the “n-word" while singing along.

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“I am so sorry," she apologized when Lamar pointed out that she needed to “bleep" that word. “I'm used to singing it like you wrote it." She was booed at by the crowd of people, many screaming “f*** you" after her mistake.

On Tuesday's show, Pat and Jeffy watched the clip and talked about some of the Twitter reactions.

“This is ridiculous," Pat said. “The situation with this word has become so ludicrous."