Glenn on 'Tavis Smiley': What's Love Got to Do With It? Everything

While some may think the message in Glenn's so-called "apology tour" is a recent phenomenon, it's actually not. The message he's delivering now is the same as four years ago at "Restoring Love," the first sold-out spoken word performance at AT&T Stadium, home of the Dallas Cowboys. Glenn recently had the opportunity to speak with Tavis Smiley, host of Tavis Smiley on PBS, about his "new" approach that began at "Restoring Love."

"It was all about how we’ve got to change our tone. We’ve got to serve each other. We have to approach life in a different way," Glenn said.

Smiley turned to a Tina Turner lyric for a follow-up question.

"Pardon the pun, Glenn, but what’s love got to do with it?" he asked.

Glenn offered a heartfelt response.

"Everything," he said.

It’s exactly why Glenn can strongly empathize with those on the left now.

"I can see the pain, the suffering and the fear --- and it’s what I went through and half of the nation went through under Barack Obama. Now it’s the left’s turn . . . I’m very concerned as well, but unless you can see yourself in other people, you can’t have any empathy," Glenn said.

He continued.

"If you don’t love other people, you won’t have any empathy either. I think that’s really what we’re missing here . . . we’re not hearing each other, we’re not listening to each other. More often than not, we’re not seeing each other for who we really are, that we’re neighbors. We’re all neighbors. We’re in this together."

Listen to Glenn's full interview with Tavis Smiley:

Tavis Smiley: Good evening from Los Angeles. I’m Tavis Smiley.

During last year’s presidential campaign, Donald Trump was bashed on the right for not being a true Conservative. Many hard-core old school Republicans joined the Never Trump movement, you recall, and publicly distanced themselves from the controversial candidate.

But Donald Trump, of course, won the election and now some of those Never Trumpers are searching for new ways to define and characterize Conservatism. One of those persons is Glenn Beck who only a few years ago was considered too far right even for Fox News.

But in recent years, Beck has experienced a transformation of sorts and has joined us tonight to talk about how he thinks we can work together in fact to unite the country.

We’re glad you’ve joined us. A rare conversation with Glenn Beck in just a moment.

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Tavis: The election of Donald Trump has exposed an America deeply divided over race, gender, and economic lines, to be sure. Conservative political commentator, Glenn Beck, sees a nation of people at each other’s throats.

He believes that the divisive language and hate-mongering he preached on his radio and TV show paved the way for the incivility and intolerance that we see today. He joins us tonight from Irving, Texas. Glenn Beck, good to have you on this program, sir.

Glenn Beck: Thanks, Tavis. How are you?

Tavis: I’m wonderful. Good to have you on.

Beck: Thank you.

Tavis: Is it fair to say that you have been on an apology tour and, if so, what are you apologizing for?

Beck: I mean, we jokingly call it the apology tour because it’s been going on now for almost three years. You know, I guess what I was attempting to do and what I am attempting to do is to show people that it’s reasonable and rational to look back on the things that you have done, especially with the light of the day now, and say was that right? Did that help? Did that hurt? Did that move us forward or take us backward?

And while it was never my intent, in some ways, my dialog moved half of the country in a wrong direction and moved us away from each other. What I was hoping was that I would see others on the right and the left that would be self-reflective enough to say, “You know, what role did I play in this? Did I do anything? Was I really listening to the other side?” So far, Tavis, I haven’t found anybody and that concerns me.

Tavis: Hmm. I’ll come back to that, I promise, Glenn, in just a second. Let me ask, though, in follow–up, to those who see what you are attempting to do and, to your credit, you’ve been at it for a few years now. This is not a story that just happened with the election of Donald Trump.

You were a Never Trumper before he got elected. but to those who see this as a sort of ruse that this is Glenn Beck’s way of building his new network, how do you respond to that critique?

Beck: Tavis, you’re smart enough. You’ve been in the business long enough. Can you figure out a business plan where this works [laugh]? I mean, I wish I was some evil genius, but I’m not. I don’t find a business plan where you take on the people who brought you to the dance and say, “You know, I think really we are misguided on the way we handle some of the things or at least the way I’ve handled them.”

Take that on, stand against the guy who is, you know, the great savior now apparently, and at the same time, try to reach out to a group of people who despise you [laugh]? I mean, if that works, that’s going to be a miracle and an unforeseen miracle.

Tavis: I’ll come back, as I said, in a moment, Glenn, to why it is you’ve not been able to find any compatriots, so to speak, at the level that you operate on the left. But let me ask first about the parishioners, if I can put it that way. Are you converting anybody in your audience?

Beck: I think so, Tavis. I mean, I’ve taken — I don’t know if you’ve had a chance to listen or watch or read any of the things that I’ve printed in the last really two years…

Tavis: I have, I have.

Beck: You know, I’m not preaching to the choir by any stretch of the imagination. My audience size has not grown over the election, which usually is typical in talk radio, but it has not diminished. That’s pretty remarkable in and of itself. I believe that my audience has gone along with me on this journey because it’s been a long time coming, as you pointed out. It’s not now.

What was it? Four years ago, we put the first sold-out spoken word performance at the Dallas Cowboy stadium here in Dallas and it was called “Restoring Love”. It was all about we’ve got to change our tone. We’ve got to serve each other. We have to approach life in a different way.

Tavis: Pardon the pun, Glenn, but what’s love got to do with it?

Beck: Everything. It’s why I believe I can strongly empathize with those on the left right now. I can see the pain, the suffering, and the fear and it’s what I went through, and half of the nation went through under Barack Obama. Now it’s the left’s turn and even some people like me,

I’m very concerned as well. But unless you can see yourself in other people, you can’t have any empathy. If you don’t love other people, you won’t have any empathy either. I think that’s really what we’re missing here is we’re not hearing each other. We’re not listening to each other. More often than not, we’re not seeing each other for who we really are, that we’re neighbors. We’re all neighbors. We’re in this together.

Tavis: Let me ask you what was the genesis of this Damascus Road experience that you had?

Beck: It’s come in several different ways. You know, when I was at Fox, when I was at CNN, I went from the fourth most admired man in the world in between Nelson Mandela and the Pope. That shows you how screwed up the American people are [laugh]. And a year later, I was one of the most hated people. I was on the cover of Time as a madman.

The story was wrong at both times. I’m not the man between Nelson Mandela and the Pope, and I’m not the most despised man in America. But you can’t have that turnaround that fast and not ask yourself, “Wait a minute, wait a minute. Who am I? Because there’s a lot of people saying this about me, is that who I am? What is causing them to say that?” That takes a toll.

I mean, it’s one of the things honestly that concerns me about our president. He doesn’t seem to have moments of reflection. In fact, he said at one point in an interview that he didn’t like to reflect. He didn’t like time to think because he regrets too much. That maybe is something that he should do more often. It’s something that all of us should do more often.

Tavis: What have you learned, then, about the notion of introspection?

Beck: Oh, that silence truly is golden, that anything said in haste is usually a mistake, that when you take time to really listen and assume the best of someone, not assume the worst of someone, that your entire countenance and your entire view of the situation may just change.

Tavis: So I agree with you and I try to live my life as such where, no matter who I’m dealing with, I try to find, try to look at, the best in that person. I believe that, if we could see our fellow citizens in that way, it might make the world a different place that we live in, if we could try to see the best in people, which raises this question for me.

When there is so much of Donald Trump and there’s so much to dislike, so much to disdain, so much at the very least to not understand, how do you look for the good in that guy? And have you seen any good in that guy?

Beck: I’d like to answer that question this way. I’m not looking to Washington to find good in people because it’s rarer than gold and uranium [laugh]. It’s just not commonly found there. So I’m looking for the good in the average person because that’s really who I think is being misled. We’re all being misled. We’re all caring about things that shouldn’t play any role in our life at all.

Tavis: Let me jump in, though. I hear your point, and if you’re right — let’s assume for the moment that you’re right about the fact that Washington is a cesspool and that finding good there is more rare than uranium and gold. Okay, fine, let’s take that.

What, then, does it say about the demos, that we are the ones who sent those persons there. They didn’t get there on their own. They didn’t get there magically. They got there somehow and we sent them there. So what’s it say about us?

Beck: Well, two things. One, we have foolishly bought into the lie that, if it’s not our side, the other side is the devil and we’re gonna go to hell. And it’s been a very carefully crafted game between these two parties, which I think are almost identical in many ways. It’s why nothing ever gets done.

But also, it does say we want the excuse for ourselves. I mean, when I see people excuse behavior that is just so far beneath public office, I wonder are they making that excuse because it makes it easier for them to behave that way?

Tavis: Back to the point that I promised I would go back to, the point you made earlier in this conversation, Glenn, and that is your inability at the moment at least to find someone on the left to join you, as it were, in this apology tour.

Not that this is going to be an apology tour, but I’m hearing rumors about some deal where you and Samantha Bee may hit the road together. I’ll ask you to comment on that in just a second whether or not there’s any truth to that rumor.

But to the question specifically, maybe it is the case that you can’t find a Glenn Beck on the left because there wasn’t a Glenn Beck on the left, maybe there’s nobody on the left who feels that he or she has the need to apologize because they didn’t go as far as you went in what they said or did over the same period of time. Your thoughts on both of those points?

Beck: That very well may be true. I will say that, if everybody feels — let me ask you this, Tavis. If Glenn Beck drops dead tomorrow or dropped dead in 2010, hit by a bus, would our country be saved today?

Tavis: The answer is no and I pray that you don’t get hit by a bus anytime soon, brother.

Beck: Right. I know. So the question is, I know at least in my family, we all play a role in wherever we’re getting and it may be a bigger role, a smaller role, but we all played a role. I’m not just asking the people in politics or the media to ask that.

I wonder how many of us have taken stock and said, “You know what? I may have played a role in that.” For instance, let me reverse things so you can understand them, anybody who is on the left. Right now there are people on the left who are really, really frightened about Donald Trump and there are a ton of people on the right that think that’s ridiculous.

I don’t happen to be one of them, but they think it’s ridiculous. I have said to them so many times, “Please don’t mock. Please don’t dismiss them. Their feelings are valid and real.” You may not see it that way, but that’s how they really feel.

Why don’t you reach out to them and say I understand how you feel. I don’t happen to feel this way about this guy, but this is the way I felt and I felt dismissed and ridiculed and mocked for it. I don’t want to be that person. How can I reach out and make you feel better? What can we do to come together?

Let’s talk because you might have some things that you’re concerned about that I might be able to say, no, have you looked at it this way? You might have some things you’re concerned about that you could say, hey, have you looked at it this way and maybe I haven’t?

What happened eight years ago is half of the country was freaked out of their mind and the press and the left just dismissed them and treated them like they were un-American, racist, or anti-government people. They were none of those things. I should say some of them probably were, but some of the people on the left are crazy too.

Why is it so unreasonable when we now both have the experience of being freaked out by a president to say, “Gosh, you know what? Maybe we have given the president in Washington too much power.” Because nobody — Donald Trump should not be able to make so many people afraid that, all of a sudden, we could have, I don’t know, internment camps for Muslims or whatever people are concerned about. This is a problem. No president should ever have that much power.

Tavis: You want to comment on the rumor that you and Samantha Bee are hitting the road together sometime soon?

Beck: I can only hope. We have been trying to match our schedules. I’m trying to go with Samantha because Samantha has been really kind and really gracious. She sat down in my studio to do an interview and it was starting off to be the typical interview. She was really trying to be a decent human being.

And I said, “Samantha, this is just going to be a comedy interview where you’re making fun of me and your audience laughs or whatever.” She says, “Well, so what do you want to talk about?” I said, “How about we talk about what we really care about.” So we started talking about the things that really motivate us.

One of the things that we agree on is slavery. There are more slaves today by far than there ever were in the western slave trade all of the hundreds of years combined, and yet we dismiss it. I started an organization called “O.U.R. Rescue.” It’s Operation Underground Railroad where we rescue kids that have been kidnapped, kids that have been sold into slavery all over the world.

We’re going to Uganda here soon and this is a particularly scary and frightening look at slavery where these kids are used as slaves and then they’re sacrificed to a mountain god. We are going to go try to build some shelters and build some rehabilitation centers for the slaves that are currently being held captive.

Tavis: I applaud you on that work, Glenn. It’s high-quality work and I’m glad that you are doing it because it is a legitimate issue. We’ve talked about it on this program before. Let me go back to the comment you made a moment ago about how that interview with Samantha Bee started.

I’m not raising this to cast aspersion on her. I want to ask a larger question here, which is how complicit, how much of the problem are those of us in the media, not just Glenn Beck, but I mean the media writ large?

I ask that because you had to counsel Samantha. You had to stop her at some point and say, “You know what? If we don’t get to a place of having a real earnest and honest conversation here, I’m going to take shots at you. You’re going to take shots at me.“

It’s going to be the typical sort of interview, to use your phrase. So how much of it is that we are not being as real as we ought to be, that we are not being as transparent as we ought to be, that we are choosing sides, that we have axes to grind? Pick your metaphor. How much are we the problem?

Beck: I think we all are, Tavis, in our own ways, some bigger than others. But I think that it’s not necessarily always that we have our own ax to grind. Some do, but it’s not always that. In some ways, I don’t know how to do my job any other way.

I don’t know how — you know, Samatha Bee. If you’re Samantha Bee, how do you do that job another way? It’s comedy, but it’s left comedy. So it’s mocking and ridiculing the right. Do you do it just by balancing it? Do you pull back? How do you do it? It’s what I wrestled with for a long time.

I mean, if I didn’t have, what, 260 employees, I would have been up in the mountains a long time ago. The last four or five years, I have really struggled with how do I do my job and keep people employed? How do I walk this line and move to a place to where I’m not throwing big buckets of raw meat out to a crowd?

And in one way or another, Tavis, we all do that. In some ways, your audience expects what you are and what you believe and you have your own style of raw meat. I don’t mean to put you in that category, but everybody does. What is it that we are doing and how do you change? It’s difficult. It takes an awful lot of courage, especially for somebody like Samantha Bee.

Tavis: It does take courage. I hope you didn’t ask that question rhetorically and, even if you did, I want to take a stab in answering it and see how you wear the garment of the response I want to offer. And I think the answer is…

Beck: I love your language.

Tavis: I think the answer is that we must always be in search of truth. It seems to me that life writ large and certainly for those of us in the media business ought to be about it, as I see it. I don’t want to preach or proselytize, but it seems to me that our job ought to be seeking the truth, speaking the truth, standing on the truth, and staying with the truth.

If you do that through an empowerment platform, but you’re still seeking the truth, then I’m okay with it. If you do that through an entertainment platform and you’re still seeking the truth, I’m okay with it. You can seek the truth and speak the truth in funny ways or empowering ways and still not demonize people. Yes or no?

Beck: Yes, you can, but that’s not necessarily what everybody is doing right now on both sides. Look at what’s happening to us. So I believe you can do it. Is it being done for the most part? No. Is it being done like The Simpsons do, which is if you’re going to pound one side, pound the other just as hard within the same episode? That’s very rare. It’s why The Simpsons is as good as it is.

But it also takes humility, Tavis. I mean, I think that one of the things that, with the best intentions and not really trying to soul-check and really not seeing it, when I was at Fox, I just really felt, “No, no, no. I’m right on this” and it takes a great deal of humility.

One of the phrases that really changed my life came from Thomas Jefferson and it is the mantra of my life. I read this a few years ago in a letter that he wrote to his nephew, Peter Carr, and he was talking about how to educate yourself on everything. And he got to the last one which was religion, but it applies to, I believe, every topic.

He said, “Peter, when it comes to religion, above all things, fix reason firmly in her seat and question with boldness even the very existence of God, for if there be a God, he must surely rather honest questioning over blindfolded fear.” That changed everything for me.

Honest questioning is some of the hardest to find. Go look. Go watch the news. Go watch any of the cable shows and there are very few that are asking honest questions. They’re asking the questions that they know the other person has the response to and then they have somebody to answer that. We’re not searching for truth.

Tavis: No, I agree. That’s what I was trying to intimate earlier was. I believe that there is the truth and there is the way to the truth. And to your point, we ought to be humble enough to acknowledge that none of us has a monopoly on the truth and all of us are on our way to it. So you can’t demonize folk who haven’t come into the truth as you see it, but I digress on that point.

I’ve got a minute to go with you. Let me close by asking — Time Magazine, as you mentioned earlier in this conversation, Glenn, put you on the cover as a madman years ago. Donald Trump has called you a whack job. So what do you think about what the president thinks of you?

Beck: Well, it’s pretty amazing when you start to center yourself the way you should be because he obviously thinks of me more than I think of him. I don’t think of him very often anymore. I’m trying to have perspective on what really matters.

Tavis: Do you have any regrets about the journey that you’re on now?

Beck: That I’m on now?

Tavis: Yeah.

Beck: Not today, but check back with me in about three years. I’m sure I’ll have tons of them [laugh].

Tavis: I only ask that, Glenn, because in three years, I don’t want you to do a U-turn again [laugh].

Beck: I hope I am on the right path. I am trying to be quiet enough and listen to other points of view.

Tavis: Well, that is the answer always. I think generous listening, charitable listening. You’ve been kindly listening to my questions tonight as I listened to your answers. Thank you for coming on, sir. Good to have you on the program.

Beck: Thank you, Tavis. Thank you so much.

Tavis: My pleasure. That’s our show for tonight. Goodnight from Los Angeles. Thanks for watching and, as always, keep the faith.

Today is the 75th anniversary of D-Day, the largest amphibious invasion in history.

The Allied invasion force included 5,000 ships and landing craft, 11,000 planes, and almost three million allied soldiers, airmen and sailors. Despite such numbers, the location and timing of the invasion was still an enormous gamble. The Nazis fully expected such an invasion, they just didn't know precisely when or where it would be.

Despite the enormous logistics involved, the gamble worked and by the end of June 6, 1944, 156,000 Allied troops were ashore in Normandy. The human cost was also enormous – over 4,900 American troops died on D-Day. That number doubled over the next month as they fought to establish a foothold in northern France.

There were five beach landing zones on the coast of northwestern France, divided among the Allies. They gave each landing zone a name. Canada was responsible for "Juno." Britain was responsible for "Gold" and "Sword." And the U.S. had "Utah" and "Omaha."

The Nazis were dug in with bunkers, machine guns, artillery, mines, barbed wire, and other obstacles to tangle any attempt to come ashore. Of the five beaches, Omaha was by far the most heavily defended. Over 2,500 U.S. soldiers were killed at Omaha – the beach so famously depicted in the opening battle sequence of the 1998 movie, Saving Private Ryan. The real-life assault on Omaha Beach included 34 men in that first wave of attack who came from the same small town of Bedford, Virginia. The first Americans to die on Omaha Beach were the men from Bedford.

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America has a national D-Day Memorial, but many people don't know about it.

America has a national D-Day Memorial, but many people don't know about it. Maybe that's because it wasn't a government project and it's not in Washington DC. It was initiated and financed by veterans and private citizens. It's tucked away in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains, in the small town of Bedford, Virginia. Why is the memorial for one of the most famous days in modern world history in such a tiny town? Because, as a proportion of its population of just 3,200 at the time, no community in the U.S. sacrificed more men on D-Day than Bedford.

There were 34 men in Company A from Bedford. Of those thirty-four, 23 died in the first wave of attacks. Six weeks after D-Day, the town's young telegraph operator was overwhelmed when news of many of the first deaths clattered across the Western Union line on the same day. Name after name of men and families that she knew well. There were so many at once that she had to enlist the help of customers in the pharmacy's soda shop to help deliver them all.

Among those killed in action were brothers Bedford and Raymond Hoback. Bedford was the rambunctious older brother with a fiancée back home that he couldn't wait to return to. Raymond was the quieter, more disciplined younger brother who could often be found reading his Bible. He fell in love with a British woman during his two years in England training for D-Day. Like in that opening sequence of Saving Private Ryan, Bedford and Raymond barely made it down the ramp of their Higgins Boat in the swarm of bullets and hot steel before they were cut down in the wet sand.

Bedford and Raymond Hoback's mother, Macie, learned of both their deaths from two separate telegrams, the first on a Sunday morning, the second the following day. Their younger sister, Lucille, remembered her mother's devastation, and her father walking out to the barn to cry.

The day after D-Day, the killing field of Omaha Beach was already transforming into the massive supply port that would help fuel the American drive all the way to Berlin over the next year. A soldier from West Virginia was walking along the beach when he saw something jutting out of the sand. He reached down and pulled it out. He was surprised to find it was a Bible. The inside cover was inscribed with: "Raymond S. Hoback, from mother, Christmas, 1938." The soldier wrote a letter and mailed it with the Bible to Raymond's mother. That Bible, which likely tumbled from Raymond's pack when he fell on D-Day, became Macie Hoback's most cherished possession – the only personal belonging of her son that was ever returned.

Of the 23 Bedford men who died on Omaha Beach, eleven were laid to rest in the American cemetery in Normandy.

These men, many of them barely out of their teens, didn't sign up to march to the slaughter of course. They had hopes and dreams just like you and I. Many of them signed up for adventure, or because of peer pressure, and yes, a sense of honor and duty. Many of the Bedford Boys first signed up for the National Guard just to make a few extra bucks per month, get to hang out with their buddies, and enjoy target practice. But someone had to be first at Omaha Beach and that responsibility fell to the men from Bedford.

Over the last several years, the D-Day anniversary gets increasingly sad. Because each year, there are fewer and fewer men alive who were actually in Normandy on June 6, 1944. The last of the surviving Bedford Boys died in 2009. Most of the remaining D-Day veterans who are still with us are too frail to make the pilgrimage to France for the anniversary ceremonies like they used to.

It's difficult to think about losing these World War II veterans, because once they're all gone, we'll lose that tether to a time when the nation figured out how to be a better version of itself.

Not that they were saints and did everything right. They were as human as we are, with all the fallibility that entails. But in some respects, they were better. Because they went, and they toughed it out, and they accomplished an incredibly daunting mission, with sickening hardship, heartbreak, and terror along the way.

So, what does the anniversary of D-Day mean in 2019?

In one sense, this anniversary is a reprimand that we've failed to tell our own story well enough.

In one sense, this anniversary is a reprimand that we've failed to tell our own story well enough. You can't learn about the logistics of the operation and above all, the human cost, and not be humbled. But as a society, we have not emphasized well enough the story of D-Day and all that it represents. How can I say that? Because of an example just last weekend, when common sense got booed by Democratic Socialists at the California Democrats' State Convention. When Democratic presidential candidate John Hickenlooper said during his speech that "socialism is not the answer," the crowd booed loudly. When did telling the truth about socialism become controversial?

Sure, socialists, and communists and other anti-American factions have always been around. America certainly had socialists in 1944. But the current socialists trying to take over the Democratic Party like a virus don't believe in the D-Day sacrifices to preserve America, because they don't believe America is worth preserving. They are agitating to reform America using the authoritarian playbook that has only ended in death and destruction everywhere it is followed.

Ask a Venezuelan citizen, or an Iraqi Christian, or a North Korean peasant why D-Day still matters in 2019.

The further we move away from caring about pivotal events like June 6, 1944, the less chance of survival we have as a nation.

At the same time, the D-Day anniversary is a reminder that we're not done yet. It's an opportunity for us to remember and let that inform how we live.

Near the end of Saving Private Ryan, the fictional Captain Miller lays dying, and he gives one last instruction to Private Ryan, the young man that he and his unit have sacrificed their lives to rescue in Normandy. He says, "Earn it."

In other words, don't waste the sacrifices that were made so that your life could be saved. Live it well. The message to "earn it" extends to the viewer and the nation as well – can we say we're earning the sacrifices that were made by Americans on D-Day? I cringe to think how our few remaining World War II veterans might answer that.

Honor. Duty. Sacrifice. Gratitude. Personal responsibility. These used to mean a lot more.

Honor. Duty. Sacrifice. Gratitude. Personal responsibility. These used to mean a lot more. I don't want to believe it's too late for us to rediscover those traits as a nation. I want to believe we can still earn it.

The challenge to "earn it" is a lot of pressure. Frankly, it's impossible. We can't fully earn the liberty that we inherited. But we can certainly try to earn it. Not trying is arrogant and immoral. And to tout socialism as the catch-all solution is naïve, and insulting to the men like those from Bedford who volunteered to go defend freedom. In truly striving to earn it, we help keep the flame of liberty aglow for future generations. It is necessary, honorable work if freedom is to survive.

The end of Lincoln's Gettysburg Address is remarkably relevant for every anniversary of June 6, 1944. This is what D-Day still means in 2019:

"It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us – that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion – that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain – that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom – and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth."

Letter from Corporal H.W. Crayton to Mr. and Mrs. Hoback – parents of Bedford and Raymond Hoback who were both killed in action on June 6, 1944

Álvaro Serrano/Unsplash

July 9, 1944 Somewhere in France

Dear Mr. & Mrs. Hoback:

I really don't know how to start this letter to you folks, but will attempt to do something in words of writing. I will try to explain in the letter what this is all about.

While walking along the Beach D-day Plus One, I came upon this Bible and as most any person would do I picked it up from the sand to keep it from being destroyed. I knew that most all Bibles have names & addresses within the cover so I made it my business to thumb through the pages until I came upon the name above. Knowing that you no doubt would want the Book returned I am sending it knowing that most Bibles are a book to be cherished. I would have sent it sooner but have been quite busy and thought it best if a short period of time elapsed before returning it.

You have by now received a letter from your son saying he is well. I sincerely hope so.

I imagine what has happened is that your son dropped the Book without any notice. Most everybody who landed on the Beach D-Day lost something. I for one as others did lost most of my personal belongings, so you see how easy it was to have dropped the book and not know about it.

Everything was in such a turmoil that we didn't have a chance until a day or so later to try and locate our belongings.

Since I have arrived here in France I have had occasion to see a little of the country and find it quite like parts of the U.S.A. It is a very beautiful country, more so in peace time. War does change everything as it has this country. One would hardly think there was a war going on today. Everything is peaceful & quiet. The birds have begun their daily practice, all the flowers and trees are in bloom, especially the poppies & tulips which are very beautiful at this time of the year.

Time goes by so quickly as it has today. I must close hoping to hear that you receive the Bible in good shape.

Yours very truly,

Cpl. H.W. Crayton

It's not as easy as it used to be for billion-dollar entertainment empires like The Walt Disney Company. It would be more streamlined for Disney to produce its major motion pictures in its own backyard. After all, abortion in California is readily available, as well as a protected, cherished right. And since abortion access is critical for movie production, right up there with lighting equipment and craft services, you would think California would be the common-sense choice for location shooting. Alas, even billion-dollar studios must pinch pennies these days. So, in recent years, Disney, among other major Hollywood studios, has been farming out production to backwater Southern lands like Georgia, and even Louisiana. Those states offer more generous tax breaks than Disney's native California. As a result, Georgia for example, played host to much of the shooting for the recent worldwide box office smash Avengers: Endgame.

But now it looks like it's Georgia's endgame. The state recently passed what is known as a "heartbeat" bill – a vicious, anti-woman law that would try to make pregnant women allow their babies to be born and actually live. It's a bridge too far for a major studio like Disney, which was largely built on creating family entertainment. How can Disney possibly go about making quality movies, often aimed at children, without access to unfettered abortion? It's unconscionable. Lack of abortion access makes it nearly impossible to shoot movies. So, what's a major studio to do? Disney might have considered migrating its business to Louisiana, but that state too has now signed a heartbeat bill into law. It's utter madness.

These monstrous anti-abortion bills, coupled with having to live under President Trump, has led Disney to seek a new home for its legendary movie magic. Last week, Disney's CEO, Bob Iger, announced that all future Disney movies will now be filmed on location in the Sub-Saharan African nation of Wakanda.

"Disney and Wakanda are a match made in heaven," Iger told reporters. "Wakanda was, until recently, a secret kingdom, much like our own Magic Kingdom. With this new partnership, we'll not only get to continue our legacy of making movies that parents and children everywhere enjoy together, but we'll get to do so in a safe space that reveres abortion as much as we do."

Wakanda is one of only four African countries (out of 55) that allow unrestricted abortion.

As home to the most advanced technology in the world – and with the planet's highest per-capita concentration of wokeness – Wakanda offers women painless, hassle-free abortion on demand. As the Wakandan health ministry website explains, the complete absence of any white-patriarchal-Judeo-Christian influence allows women in Wakanda to have complete control of their own bodies (with the exception of females who are still fetuses). As winner of the U.N.'s 2018 Golden Forceps award (the U.N.'s highest abortion honor) Wakanda continues its glowing record on abortion. That makes it an ideal location for Disney's next round of live-action remakes of its own animated movies in which the company plans to remove all male characters.

Iger says he hopes to convince Wakandan leadership to share their top-secret vibranium-based abortion procedure technology so that American women can enjoy the same convenient, spa-like abortion treatment that Wakandan women have enjoyed for years.

Wakanda is one of only four African countries (out of 55) that allow unrestricted abortion. Disney plans to boycott and/or retaliate against the other 51 African nations, as well as any U.S. states, that restrict abortion. Specific plans are being kept under wraps, but sources say Disney's potential retaliation may include beaming Beverly Hills Chihuahua into the offending territories on a continuous, indefinite loop.

When asked how Wakanda's futuristic capital city and distinctly African landscape would be able to double for American movie locations, Iger said, "I guess America will just have to look more like Wakanda from now on."

One potential wrinkle for the Left-leaning studio is the fact that Wakanda has an impenetrable border wall-shield-thing designed to keep out foreign invaders as well as illegal immigrants. Iger said he understands Wakanda's policy of exclusivity, adding, "After all, not everyone gets into Disneyland. You have to have a ticket to get in. Anyone is welcome, but you have to go through the process of getting a ticket." When one reporter pointed out that Iger's answer sounded like the conservative argument for legal immigration under the rule of law, Iger insisted that the reporter was "a moronic fascist."

What if the unthinkable happens and Florida also enacts its own "heartbeat" law? That would be problematic since Walt Disney World is located in Florida. Iger responded that Disney would "cross that bridge if we get to it" but that the most likely scenario would entail "dismantling Disney World piece-by-piece and relocating it to the actual happiest place on earth – Wakanda." As for whether Disney would ever open character-themed abortion clinics inside its theme parks, Iger remained coy, but said, "Well, it is the place where dreams come true."

With the Wakanda solution, Disney may have found a place where Minnie Mouse can finally follow her heart and have true freedom of choice.

When pressed about the cost of ramping up production in a secretive African kingdom that has no existing moviemaking infrastructure (which could easily end up being much more expensive than simply shooting in California) Iger said, "You can't put a price tag on abortion freedom. Wakanda Forever and Abortion Forever!"

With the Wakanda solution, Disney may have found a place where Minnie Mouse can finally follow her heart and have true freedom of choice. And that will be welcome relief to traditional families all over the world who keep the Walt Disney Company in business.

*Disclaimer: The preceding story is a parody. Bob Iger did not actually say any of the quotes in the story. Neither is Wakanda an actual nation on planet Earth.

"Journeys of Faith with Paula Faris," is a podcast featuring conversations about how faith has guided newsmakers and celebrities through their best and worst times. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints is a much maligned religion so Glenn joined the podcast and took the time to explain what it means to him and how it changed his life.

From his suicidal days and his battle with drugs and alcohol, it was his wife Tania and his faith that saved him. All his ups and downs have given him the gift of empathy and he says he now understands the "cry for mercy" — something he wishes he'd given out more of over the years.

You can catch the whole podcast on any of the platforms listed below.

- Apple Podcasts
- Google Podcasts
- TuneIn
- Spotify
- Stitcher
- ABC News app

One of these times I'm going to go on vacation, and I'm just not going to come back. I learn so much on a farm.

You want to know how things work, go spend a summer on a farm. You're having problems with your son or daughter, go spend a summer on a farm.

My son changed. Over two weeks.

Getting him out of bed, getting him to do anything, is like insane. He's a 15-year-old kid. Going all through the normal 15-year-old boy stuff. Getting him on the farm, where he was getting up and actually accomplishing stuff, having to build or mend fences, was amazing. And it changed him.

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Our society does not allow our kids to grow up, ever. I am convinced that our 15-year-olds could be fixing all kinds of stuff. Could be actually really making an impact in a positive way in our society. And what's wrong with our society is, we have gotten away from how things actually work. We're living in this theoretical world. When you're out on a farm, there's no theory here. If it rains, the crops will grow. If it rains too much, the crops won't grow.

If there's no sun, they won't grow. If there's too much sun, they'll shrivel up and die. There's no theory. We were out mending fences. Now, when I say the phrase to you, mending fences, what does that mean? When you think of mending fences, you think of, what?

Coming together. Bringing people together. Repairing arguments.

I've never mended a fence before until I started stringing a fence and I was like, "I ain't doing this anymore! Where is it broken? Can't we just tie a piece of barbed wire together?"

Let's stop talking about building a wall. Because that has all kinds of negative imagery. Mending fences is what we need to do.

That's called mending fences.

And why do you mend fences? So your animals don't get out and start to graze on somebody else's land. When your fence goes down, your cow is now on somebody else's land. And your cow is now eating their food.

We look at the phrase, mending fences as saying, hey. You know, we were both wrong. Mending fences has nothing to do with that.

Mending fences means build a wall. My neighbors and I, we're going to get along fine, as long as my cows don't go and steal their food, or their cows don't come over and steal my cow's food.

We're perfectly neighborly with each other, until one of us needs to mend a fence, because, dude, you got to mend that, because your cows keep coming over and eating my food.

You know what we need to do with Mexico? Mend fences.

Now, that's a phrase. You hear build a wall. That's horrible.

No, no, no. We need to mend fences.

In a farming community, that means putting up an electric fence. That means putting up barbed wire.

So the cows — because the cows will — they'll stick their head through barbed wire. And they'll eat the grass close to the road. Or eat the grass close to the other side of the fence. And they'll get their heads in between those fences. And they can't get out sometimes. Because the grass is always greener on the other side. You look at these damn cows and say turn around, cow — there's plenty of stuff over here.

No. They want the grass on the other side of the fence.

So you mend it.

And if it's really bad, you do what we do. We had to put an electric fence up. Now, imagine putting an electric fence up. That seems pretty radical and expensive.

Does it really work? Does it shock them? What does that feel like to a cow?

The cows hit it once, and then they don't hit it again. They can actually hear the buzz of the electric fence. There's a warning. Don't do it. Don't do it. They hear the current and they hit it once and they're like, "I'm not going to do that again."

So you mend fences, which means, keep your stuff on your side. I like you. We're good neighbors. You keep your stuff on your side and I'll keep my stuff on my side and we'll get together at the town hall and we'll see each other at the grocery store. Because we're good neighbors. But what stops us from fighting is knowing that there is a fence there.

This is my stuff. That's your stuff. But we can still trade and we'll help each other. But let's stop talking about building a wall. Because that has all kinds of negative imagery. Mending fences is what we need to do.

You can have a tough fence. It could be a giant wall. It could be an electric fence. But you need one. And that's how you come together.

The side that's having the problem, mends the fence.