Glenn Beck: State of Religion in America

GLENN BECK, HOST: Here with me now: David Barton, founder and president of WallBuilders.

Also, Jim Garlow, he's the chairman of Renewing American Leadership.

Richard Lee is the founding pastor of First Redeeming Church in Cumming, Georgia. He's also the author of The American Patriot's Bible — which is fantastic.

Robert George is a professor of jurisprudence at Princeton University and the founder of American Principles Project.

Dave Stone is a senior minister at Southeast Christian Church in Louisville, Kentucky.

Tom Mullins is a senior pastor and founder of Christ Fellowship Church in Florida.

Ralph Reed is the chairman of Faith and Freedom Coalition.

And John Hagee is the founder and senior pastor of Cornerstone Church in San Antonio, Texas. He is and also the author of a book, Can America Survive? which I just started to read last night, also an excellent book.

Stephen Broden is the senior pastor at Fair Park Bible Fellowship. He's also running for Congress in Texas.

Stephen, I think I'm going to start with you. You're running for Congress. But you are mixing church and state — shame on you.

STEPHEN BRODEN, FAIR PARK BIBLE FELLOWSHIP: Well, there's a screaming need for the church to be involved in the public square. I think we have been bludgeoned and bullied and pushed out right out of the public square because of an insidious thing called political correctness. And there's a desperate need for us to return to being biblical correct and being constitutionally correct.

I think that the thing that we're fighting here against, Glenn, is that there is a power grab on the part of the progressive left. And in order for them to effectively pull power from America, they have to marginalize and negate the Judeo-Christian influence in public square.

BECK: OK. I want to go to David Barton first, because, David, you're kind of a resident historian on the faith of Founders and people who disagree. I don't know how, but they do disagree.

There's a difference between when somebody says faith, you know, and we should — we should have our religious figures speak out and be involved in politics, and I guess — I guess it's principles and religion, right? You don't want to mix necessarily religion and principles and have religion tell the government what to do.

But shouldn't religion form principles?

DAVID BARTON, WALLBUILDERS: That's where you get most of your principles and great philosophers — Montesquieu and others — said that there's no government that exists that's not founded on some religious principles. It's just which set of religious principles we take.

The Founding Fathers had a really good understanding of basic biblical Judeo-Christian principles. We got a lot of Jewish Founding Fathers, Christian Founding Fathers, all mixed in there together, but they had a real common core that number one, there is a moral law that comes from God. That has become our common law. That's why we say arson and larceny and murder and theft and rape are all wrong, because they're wrong in the scriptures. That's the moral law, the common law.

The next is the judicial law and that can change over time. You know, in Texas, we used to hang horse thieves. We don't anymore, but it's still wrong to steal horses.

And you finally have your social compact laws. And that's the laws we agree on to govern a society, with its sidewalks or traffic tickets, or whatever.

But you don't compromise the moral laws. And that moral law given by God is what the Declaration called the laws of nature and the laws of the God who created nature.

BECK: Then let me go here, because this is something — I gotten a lot of heat for, taking on the churches to talk about "social justice." This one is Father Charles Coughlin who was a Nazi sympathizer in the 1930s — left. Left.

This one is The Post-American. This is from 1972. It has Dick Nixon here. "God is an American and Nixon is the president."

And this is Jim Wallis' magazine: "Who Speaks for God?" They always had a problem with this.

But now, if you look at what the president is saying, immigration, cap-and-trade, health care, the debt — all of this is now a moral problem.

Anybody want to take on social justice and what they're saying?

BRODEN: I'll be glad to give it a shot, Glenn.

BECK: Go for it.

BRODEN: The social justice movement is built upon or predicated on the idea of liberation theology. Liberation theology has its origin or its source in socialism, communism and Marxism. Marxism and communism is a godless idea. They do not believe in the divine. And so, any connection between the Bible and its attempt to do what is called justice and a socialistic frame is like mixing water and fire. They don't mix together.

So, the idea, I think, that we're looking at is one that is cloaked in what we call a "wolf in sheep's clothing." This is another Jesus and another gospel. This is another theology that does not fit the biblical divine perspective.

BECK: All right.

RICHARD LEE, RENEWING AMERICAN LEADERSHIP CHAIRMAN: Glenn, you know, when they talk about social justice, of course, we, as Christians, we want to be just. The Bible says a great deal about us bringing justice.

The social justice has been twisted and now it — what we're talking about is Christian charity when we talk about social justice years ago. Christian charity comes from mercy of God. Today's social justice comes from the manipulation of government. And it's all about power. And it's all about control. See, men will always have a God. Every person has a God.

BECK: It's money right now for a lot of people.

LEE: Yes. But what's happening is, the — with the economy, with the welfare state we're living in, with all of these things, what's happening is basically the government is trying to become our God. And we're in trouble when that happens.

BARTON: Let me add something to that because social justice movement is resurrection of what was called the social gospel movement of the 1920s. Social gospel movement had two primary guys, the Reverend Harry Ward and the Reverend Reinhold Niebuhr. Those two guys headed two organizations. Reverend Harry Ward was the executive for the ACLU and Reverend Niebuhr was the guy who founded the Americans for Democratic Action, which is the Progressive Socialist Party of today.

The problem we have is we have academic studies, they just finished one, that looked at 33 foreign nations. In those 33 foreign nations, every time social spending goes up by government, church attendance goes down. So, for these guys —

BECK: Because it doesn't change your heart.

BARTON: It doesn't.

(CROSSTALK)

BECK: Isn't that the point of going to church? It's supposed to change you. I never felt charitable on April 15th. Not once. Professor?

ROBERT GEORGE, PRINCETON UNIVERSITY PROFESSOR OF JURISPRUDENCE: I should say a word to my fellow Catholics who may be confused about the critique of the social justice that they're hearing here and have heard on your show. Because in my tradition, the Catholic tradition, the concept of social justice has long history and honorable history. What it refers to is the fair distribution of benefits and burdens of common life.

But what was happened very often, not all the time, the authorities of the Catholic Church still speak in terms of social justice. The pope will sometime speak in terms of social justice. But too often, the concept has become corrupted and used as pretext for advancing what is essentially a social democratic or social welfare or social — socialist agenda.

You see that corruption in exactly the person that you mentioned, Father Coughlin, a Catholic priest who preached during the 1930s. He's originally for the New Deal and then he turned against the New Deal.

But he was very much in sympathy with the fascist movements.

BECK: Right.

GEORGE: And fascism, of course, was a form of socialism. People forget that today, but it's true. The Nazi movement was National Socialism. It was nationalist, which distinguished from the communist movement, which was internationalist. But it was socialist.

So, I think Catholics have to understand that when you or when we are criticizing social justice, we don't mean it in the honorable sense in which it has been used in our tradition. We mean in a corrupted sense that some people, not all people use.

BECK: Here's the way — and we have to take a break. So, I just end it here and then we'll come back.

Here's the way I define it and you guys correct me if I'm wrong when we come back: If Jesus is telling you to take your money and give all your money to somebody, go do it. If Jesus tells you to go and take a shovel and build, you know, dig a ditch for somebody, go do it.

If the government tells you that you need to dig it for somebody else on your own time, that isn't — I have not found it in the Bible.

(CROSSTALK)

OK, back in just a second.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(NEWS BREAK)

BECK: Back with an incredible panel of religious leaders and experts. And we're talking about the state of the union through the prism of religion. We're talking about immigration, cap-and-trade, health care, the debt, our economy, the redistribution of wealth, a global government, Iran, Israel — all of this stuff.

The reason why I want to talk to some preachers is George Whitfield.

We learned about George Whitfield on the show about a month ago. This guy came before the American Revolution. He had to bring people and open their eyes and say, wait a minute. God is personal. He works through me, and it's an individual thing. And it's not collective salvation. It's up to me to do these things.

There needs to be another Whitfield. And so we're talking tonight about the role of faith. And I'd like to throw this out on — is it possible that maybe the attendance in our churches is going down, because churches don't stand for anything anymore?

What they do stand for — I mean I can stay in my sweatpants all Sunday, you know, and just get kind of well, maybe you should do this. There is no real right and wrong. I mean, shouldn't we stand for things?

RALPH REED, CHAIRMAN, FAITH AND FREEDOM COALITION: Well, Glenn, I think if you really look at the modern church today, those churches that are standing for the gospel are the ones that are growing. And the ones that have a watered down message and social gospel message are shrinking.

Now, if you listen to what Robbie George said about Catholic teaching, there was another piece of it which was subsidiary, which said that even when you are seeking to ameliorate poverty and help those that have been left behind, you should always do it with the agencies that are closest to the people.

Those who are the furthest removed — whether it's Sacramento or Washington — aren't able to be as efficient in doing it. Why? Because there isn't a level of accountability.

Frederick Tolles was a historian who wrote a famous book called Meeting House and Counting House about colonial America in which he pointed out that the first libraries, the first hospitals, the first clinics, the first schools and universities were all founded by the churches.

And not only did they not see any conflict between their economic institutions and their charitable institutions but they saw them as inextricably linked. And it was the faith community's celebration of both the creation of wealth and the responsibility of that wealth to care for those who were marginalized that built America.

BECK: So John Hagee — you are just like the Cheshire Cat sitting over here. You're just — you're just awfully darn quiet. And I know you not to be a quiet man per se. You're a guy who will get up on the pulpit and you will say — like it or not, you'll get up and say exactly what you believe.

JOHN HAGEE, SENIOR PASTOR, CORNERSTONE CHURCH: I think one of the great problems in the American church is what I refer to as "hot tub Christianity." The purpose is to make people feel good without being good. The whole idea is to explain their sin rather than to confess their sin. And therefore not confessing their sin, there is no transformation from carnality to Christianity.

If we as a nation want to return to principles of the Founding Fathers, George Washington said it is not possible to govern without God and the Bible. And that very concept is even out of many churches, because they have the social gospel. They have the design to explain who you think you are rather than who you really are.

BECK: I think — just raise hands because I have to go to a break, so just — let me take a quick poll: How many people here believe that there is a growing threat that you may not be able to preach all the things in the gospel, because it would be politically incorrect? Hands?

Only Professor George says no.

Back in just a second.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BECK: Back with a panel of religious leaders who are quite well known, and lead an awful lot of people all around the country. And Professor Robert George — who I can't believe I like the man. He holds the Woodrow Wilson chair at Princeton University. But the first guy I said, "I think Woodrow Wilson was an evil SOB." And he said, "I'm saying nothing."

We were saying right before the break — I asked a question, you were the only one that answered differently.

I said: Is anybody worried about the right to preach the Bible or preach, you know — and having the right taken away, speaking your mind in church?

GEORGE: There are places around the world where you have to worry about censorship — government censorship, and not just places like China. There are liberal democracies like Canada and Sweden —

BECK: Yes.

GEORGE: Where preachers have felt the sting of the government for things they said when they violated the norms of liberal political correctness. But the United States, in my view, is not one of them.

I'm not worried about government censorship. I'm worried about a more insidious form of censorship. I call it self-censorship, where we — whether we're Christians or Jews or other believers or just people who want to speak out, who have it in their hearts to speak out — who will hold back and censor themselves because they're afraid of being unpopular or saying — afraid of saying something that will cause other people to look down on them. They're afraid of elite opinion. It's a kind of intimidation there.

You see it when people will hold back from speaking out in defense of human life in the womb or the elderly, when people will hold themselves back from speaking out in defense of marriage, the union of man and woman.

BECK: That's because —

GEORGE: That's self-censorship.

BECK: That's because — I think most people are caught into that trap because — I don't want to offend anybody. I mean, look at what I do for a living. You don't want to offend anybody. You don't want to cause these problems but that is different than having the courage to stand up — we live in a country where Jeremiah Wright says things I've never heard before and he's fine.

Why do you have a problem — or why do you fear that?

DAVID STONE, SENIOR MINISTER, SOUTHEAST CHRISTIAN CHURCH: I like what Peter Marshall said. He was a senior chaplain years ago who said if a man is not willing to stand for something, then he's liable to fall for anything.

And we have a whole lot of churches — we're guilty of being parts of numerous churches in a general sense who have kind of hushed their mouth. And to your point, Professor Robert, we've kind of neutered ourselves and we've diluted the message.

I really think what Ralph said earlier is the key to it: For churches to begin to have that fire like the early Founding Fathers had, we've got to go back to the book. We've got to go back to God's words.

(CROSSTALK)

BRODEN: Glenn, may I intervene?

BECK: Hold on just a second. Hold on just a second. Stephen, we'll come to you in just a second.

GEORGE: A lot of churches that are pro-marriage silence themselves on the marriage issue in California and Maine and other places where the question was put to the people of whether we want to redefine marriage, we want to retain marriage as the union of husband and wife.

But one church that did speak out — and I want to pay tribute to the Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints — the Mormon church, which spoke out in California. There were many Mormons who contributed money and who worked on the phone and went door-to-door. They weren't afraid to speak out and they were vilified for it and they were attacked for it.

There is a major effort of intimidation against this minority —

BECK: I know, I personally —

GEORGE: But they stood up.

BECK: I personally have met people who were run off the road, moms who were frightened for their life in California. And not just of that faith, but of others as well.

JIM GARLOW, SENIOR PASTOR, SKYLINE WESLEYAN CHURCH: We kept track in California. I was involved in the Prop 8 battle of the churches that were intimidated. A number of pastors had to have security. Church buildings had to be protected. Bricks thrown through windows. Bricks thrown through cars. All this kind of things took place.

But I think, in contrast to all this also, there is a rising up. There were evangelicals. There were Catholics. There were people of the LDS Church that rose up and said enough is enough. There is a rising up of pastors.

We're not going to speak merely on abortion, though we should continue. We're not going to merely defend marriage, though we understand the implications. We're going to speak out of the immorality of the aspects of our economy, our debt, for example, the excessive debt, the excessive taxation.

There is a host of moral, biblical issues. And there is a rising up group of pastors. And we will not be silenced any longer.

BECK: Stephen, real quick. I've got to take a break, but go ahead and let's chew on your comment in here.

BRODEN: I just want to beg to differ with my colleagues there. I think the failure of pastors to take the lead in this issue — on these issues is the reason why we are seeing the kind of problems or melees that we're seeing in our culture today.

In addition to that, I want to introduce my friend to the idea of hate crime legislation, introduce them to the idea of a 501-C3 that is used to knock Christians around and keep them silent, from speaking out in America today.

I want to introduce them to the idea of ENDA, which is Employment Non-Discrimination, which is bullying people and pushing Christians into hiring people that they should not hire.

We are experiencing, in America, a soft tyranny and we need to resist it. We need to recognize what it is, call it what it is. The Bible says that the Christians — that the gatekeepers, that the shepherds have failed. And our shepherds in America have strengthened the hands of the evildoers because they have been silent for too long.

BECK: I have to take a break. Be back in just a second.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BECK: Back with the panel of religious leaders. And we're trying to look at the news of the day and try to look at it from a different perspective.

John Hagee is here and you were kind of the guy that really has spoken about Iran and Israel an awful lot. Forty-eight percent of Americans now think that Jesus will come back in the next 40 years, and I know that is not new. A lot of people thought that for — you know, since the beginning of time. But a lot of the pieces here that have never been here for the prophecy are here now.

HAGEE: That's exactly right. Israel became a reality in 1948 in keeping with all the prophets of the Old Testament. And now, we have a nation that was given a Bible mandate 3,500 years ago to own a specific geographic piece of property.

If I could talk to the president of the United States, I'd like to ask him, stop using the power of his office to divide the city of Jerusalem and to stop putting pressure on the nation of Israel for a no-growth policy in Judea and Samaria. And when the prime minister of Israel comes to America, to treat him with dignity and respect and to treat him like a friend and not an enemy — not to walk off.

BECK: Anybody who disagrees that — I mean the Bible tells us clearly you stand against Israel, you will lose your land as well.

REED: And Glenn, when he went to Cairo and compared what he called the occupation of Judea, Samaria and Gaza to the Holocaust, that was one of the most shameful moments in modern history of America.

TOM MULLINS, SENIOR PASTOR, CHRIST FELLOWSHIP: Well, Glenn, you know, in the Revolutionary War days, we had the Black Robe Regiment, ministers standing up from the pulpit. And the cries we heard in the streets of America were first heard in pulpits of America. And the people were educated from the biblical principles of what life and liberty is all about.

BECK: What was the — what was the thundering voice? Who said — Sam Adams.

BARTON: John Adams. John Adams called it the pulpit thunder. It was his description of it and it was the black regiment — the Black Robe Regiment.

MULLINS: And we've got to recapture that in America. And I believe when that voice comes up, it also will support — it will support the principles of Israel and our relationship.

We'll talk about the economy. And we'll talk about our debt. And the Bible gives us the formula. And our early Founding Fathers built this Constitution, this great nation upon these principles.

BECK: And it doesn't mean — I mean, because I'd walk out of a church that was telling me vote for a Republican or vote for a Democrat.

MULLINS: No, no, no.

BECK: Yes. It's not about that.

MULLINS: It's about the principles.

BECK: It's about the principles.

(CROSSTALK)

BECK: You started a project that — what is it? The Manhattan —

GEORGE: The Manhattan Declaration.

BECK: Right.

GEORGE: We've spoken today, Glenn, about the need for people to speak out. People of all faiths, certainly all Christians, to speak out. Here is an opportunity to do it. If you viewers have a pencil and a piece of paper, write down www.ManhattanDeclaration.org — ManhattanDeclaration.org.

BECK: What is that?

GEORGE: This is an opportunity to join religious leaders, many of whom are here today, in pledging fidelity to three great foundational principles of our civilization and our polity: The sanctity of human life in all state and conditions; the dignity of marriage as the conjugal union of husband and wife, and religious freedom and rights of conscience.

Everything else is built on those core principles. There are other important issues — those are foundational. Everything else are depends on respecting them. And we have gone too far from them.

And we pledge in the Manhattan Declaration — Catholics, Evangelical Protestants, Eastern Orthodox Christians — all united together despite our theological differences on these moral and political principles.

BECK: What happens when it's — when you sign up, what happens then?

GEORGE: Well, you sign it and you're speaking out. Now, you become part of the solution and no longer part of the problem. You're pledging that nothing will prevent you from speaking out and standing up in support of these core principles.

And you're pledging to render ungrudgingly to Caesar what is Caesar's, but to never give to Caesar what is God's.

BECK: OK. I've got to go. I've got to take a break. We'll be back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BECK: We want to leave you tonight with this thought:

RICHARD LEE, CHAIRMAN, RENEWING AMERICAN LEADERSHIP: I want to challenge our pastors — our fellow pastors — if the forefathers could give their lives and sacred honor, we can give our lives and the honor that God has given us, preaching the gospel of Jesus Christ to change this world.

We can do it. We just need to do it.

BECK: Black Robe Regiment. There it is. Pastor Broden from Texas, and all of you great gentlemen, thank you very much. Have New York, good night, America.

Go to the polls and keep mob rule at bay

Scott Olson/Getty Images

November is nearly upon us, and polls are starting to come out. The most recent was a poll conducted last week by the Washington Post and ABC News that showed Congressional Democrats have an 11 point lead heading into the midterms. The biggest swing, as expected after the Kavanaugh circus, is Independent women who are sliding Democrat 52% to 38% Republican.

This is a significant build on the lead last reported back in mid September. Real Clear Politics took the average of eighteen total polls, minus Rasmussen - because it's uh… Rasmussen - and it showed Democrats holding on to a slim lead of six and a half points.

RELATED: Kavanaugh might be the force to turn back the blue wave

If this trajectory holds, it appears that the Left got exactly what they wanted when they tried to destroy a man's life all in the disgusting name of politics. They wanted a repeat of the 1991/92 Clarence Thomas fallout - later dubbed "The Year of The Woman - and they're on pace to get it.

How is it that we are so easily played by these awful people we call politicians? This is something I realize everyone listening right now already knows, but if your first thought is emotion every time someone in Washington opens their mouth… take a step back! Do some research and ask yourself, "Why am I feeling so outraged?" This has never been more important than right now. The left is abandoning the rule of law and moving towards mob rule. There's a reason why they all want to abolish the Electoral College. They want to work you up into a frenzy, and then they want to unleash you on the polling booth. But it's all fake. It's a con.

If fiscal responsibility is this bad now, imagine how bad it'll get with a Democrat controlled House, Senate and Executive Branch. The Mercatus Center at George Mason University just released their annual report on fiscal accountability, showing which states are run the most efficiently. Over the past several years, these are the worst run states in the entire Union: Illinois, California, Massachusetts, New Jersey, Connecticut, Hawaii, New Mexico, New York and Rhode Island. Notice a common denominator here? Every single one is a blue state.

We cannot hand power over to mob rule.

On the other hand, these are the most efficiently ran states: South Dakota, Tennessee, Nebraska, Florida, Utah, Alaska, Oklahoma, Wyoming, and Montana. Umm, yeah… ALL Red states.

The facts and numbers are there, but the Left doesn't want you to see them. They don't want you doing your own homework… they just want you pissed off! Don't give in to the outrage. We cannot hand power over to mob rule. There's too much at stake.

"May you live in interesting times" it seems, is actually not an ancient Chinese saying, blessing or curse. The strongest match one can find to its origins comes from the Yorkshire Post in 1936:

Sir Austen Chamberlain, addressing the annual meeting of Birmingham Unionist Association last night, spoke of the "grave injury" to collective security by Germany's violation of the Treaty of Locarno.

Sir Austen, who referred to himself as "a very old Parliamentarian," said:

It is not so long ago that a member of the Diplomatic Body in London, who had spent some years of his service in China, told me that there was a Chinese curse which took the form of saying, 'May you live in interesting times.' There is no doubt that the curse has fallen on us. We move from one crisis to another. We suffer one disturbance and shock after another.

I like the quote, Chinese or English, as it gives us a correct or new perspective on strife, should we care to view our struggles as neither blessing nor curse. My father taught this to me as a small child. But I only really learned it in one of the darkest chapters of my life. Alcoholism and divorce. There is nothing that life can hand to you that is in itself bad. It all depends on what you do with it. Will you allow it to change you in destructive ways through anger, bitterness and despair? Or will you allow it, whatever it is, to strengthen you through enlightenment, correction, humility?

There is nothing that life can hand to you that is in itself bad. It all depends on what you do with it.

We have a desperate need for humility in our society from DC to Hollywood. Everyone left and right is convinced that either they are or their side is absolutely right. And if someone on their side strays from the pack, then they must be "a traitor to the race, party or cause". They are wrong and we remain right. Scientific atheists "know that there is no God" even though almost everything they now believe or "know" in science now proves that the scientists that came before them were wrong. How can those whose field has been built on enhancing, evolving, or outright proving that others and their theories were wrong, be so certain? If those who should be the least certain of final truth are now calling heretic for those who disagree, we are indeed living in interesting times.

But it isn't a "them" problem even though that is what the world is currently trying to sell each of us. It is instead a simple "us" issue. Perhaps we don't see it because we are so busy staging, filtering, or enhancing the colors on our Facebook or Instagram pics that we can no longer recognize or even like the simple truth about us and what our life really is. Much of our life is a lie. We have been marketed to since we were born, told that we are not complete unless we wear, consume, own, vacation at or buy product 1 or 2. It has gone so far as telling us that not only are we not good enough if we don't have all of that, but now, we cannot even be a part of the great new society unless we believe and champion (product, politician or party) A, B or C. Opinions have become products.

Now, however, we are in the next and perhaps final stage. We ourselves are the product. Companies like Google, Facebook, Amazon and YouTube no longer see us as the customer, but what we do, think and believe are now commodities. If you cannot fill this line in: "I am ____________ , Someone will always be there to fill it in for you. Buy this makeup to use the word beautiful. This label to let others know "I AM cool, or in style," or even "I AM rich.'

Buy Democrat to be "compassionate," "smarter than others," or "science-minded." It doesn't matter if you really are any of those things in reality, the label is all you need. Buy Republican if you want to be patriotic, support our troops or for family values. We now buy and believe labels and always judge a book by its cover. Buy the label "Christian" and you can love any life you want but you now can use religion to excuse either yours or anyone else's behaviors. Buy the label progressive and you believe in science even though you deny it in basic biology.

Even labels that were never for sale like "courage" come with a price tag, and its price keeps going lower and lower. Now, this once time revered label can be yours for simply saying things out loud to a room full of people who agree with you and will all cheer when you say it.

Labels and words are experiencing a fire sale and it seems "everything must go."

What comes next is always tough.

Heaven knows the proper price to attach to something so celestial as freedom. — Thomas Payne.

Each generation, except for the last, has had to earn and renew their freedom. They did not buy or sell the label the "greatest generation." In fact, it wasn't even them that came up with that title. It was the "boomers." At the time, there were no labels - they just saw themselves as people, as Americans. They saw the crisis not as anyone's fault, but rather as their turn to stand and do the right thing. It is what they did with their "crisis" that made others bestow the "greatest generation" title on them, and only years later.

We are living in a time of great crisis, not much different or of smaller scale than the great struggles of the past. All of the labels we think we have now, will fall away. Those that we have bought will become worthless and every new label will be purchased with blood, sweat, tears and courage.

Barack Obama and Donald Trump are neither the problem nor the solution. They are a symptom.

What we will face, in the end, will not be smaller than what many of our grandparents or great grandparents faced in the World Wars. No less frightening than the global economic unrest of the 1930's. Nor will it be any greater. It will just be ours. And just like the generations past, it will be our choice on whether or not we survive. What a blessing. The boomers feasted off the crisis of their parents and never truly had to choose life or death, freedom or slavery. They never had to push themselves as a group beyond what humans thought possible to achieve something as valuable as freedom.

The crisis we are just now beginning to see is a blessing our parents never received. Each of us will have to pick between black and white, slavery or freedom, good or evil, and life or death. We will all know in the years to come who we really are, if we chose carefully or if we simply allowed ourselves to become. We can become, through this struggle, exactly who we were born to be. Our best and highest selves.

If each of us were honest and began to see this struggle in the proper light, we would admit that it is the softness of our foundations that have caused these struggles. Barack Obama and Donald Trump are neither the problem nor the solution. They are a symptom. Look all around you. No matter whom you voted for, you will admit that the country, and perhaps the entire world over, is sick.

We are all feeling it and each of our political doctors are seeing the same symptoms and prescribing the opposite medicine. Each of us, as patients, all so desperate to cure what is killing us, become more and more vested in our own "doctor's cure." Our doctor is right and yours is wrong! At the same times each doctor knows that he or she has everything to lose if his patients begin to seek another opinion, diagnosis or remedy. It is their best interest to keep their patients busy looking at the other side. Meanwhile, none of us stop and ask if the diagnosis is even correct. I guess we are just too busy fighting for what our doctor said.

I am not sure about you, but when I am sick or in pain, I am usually at my worst interpersonally. We all snap at others. We act as our lesser selves. When I am sick, fearful or angry, it is almost always followed by a time where I begin conversations with, "I am so sorry for what I said or did, I was just having a really bad day."

We are all having a really very bad, most difficult day. Everyday, it seems.

While it is true that there are difficulties and dangers that lie ahead of us, we must not assume that we will lay down and watch our country go to ruin. Many, if not most of those who voted for democrats and those who voted for republican have much in common with those who voted for neither. While parties and politicians try to convince us otherwise, and many of us may have believed it or even engaged in this "warfare," it is becoming more and more clear that our neighbors are not our enemies.

While it is true that there are difficulties and dangers that lie ahead of us, we must not assume that we will lay down and watch our country go to ruin.

If you are finding this a difficult concept to reconcile, simply ponder what our ancestors came here for, be it three months or three centuries ago. To make a better life, in a country that would allow you to follow your dream, work hard and keep what you built so your children could live a better life than you did and achieve even more than you did. That opportunity came not from this land, or even its people, but rather from its mission statement: "all men are created equal and endowed by their creator with certain inalienable rights, among them life, liberty and pursuit of happiness." While that mission statement was and always be aspirational, it has never been fully achieved. It is shaped and given the best chance to succeed when it is protected by the guardrails of the constitution and bill of rights. It is indeed our laws, which come from our American Thesis, that has created the modern world. It is indeed why people still die trying to get on this side of our border.

Is it too much of a stretch to believe that you and I are not alone in our doubt of our doctors? Are we the only ones left that think our neighbor, who knows how sick we all are, really wants everyone who disagrees with their doctor to die? Maybe they have seen flaws in their practitioner as we have. Maybe if we stop spending all our time looking at what is wrong with "them" and what's wrong with America, we can begin to see the things that are right and good.

Perhaps we are not as sick as some of these doctors tell us we are. Perhaps they are more akin to bad, crooked chiropractors that have done more damage to our spine than good and will bilk us for every dime week after week until we finally say no or are broke. We haven't wanted to listen to our friends, or those who tell us differently, because we feel the fool.

Perhaps we are beyond help and only have months to live, but, I don't think it needs to be this way. If we are going down, I want to go down with my friends and family around me. All of them, even those who told me not to listen to my doctor or the one I angrily chased away because I just knew they were wrong.

It is easy to jump on the bandwagon and light fires. It is harder always to put them out.

It is easy to jump on the bandwagon and light fires. It is harder always to put them out. Easy to lose friends and harder to make them. In the end, our founding documents are just an idea. I think a really good idea. One that says we can and should all be who we choose to be and live the life we build for ourselves with dignity and security.

But that idea fails if no one remembers it or believes in it.

I still do.

I am not a doctor but I think our illness is all in our heads. We have been convinced by those who suffer from some sort of societal Munchausen by proxy, that we are fatally ill and will only survive because of them. I think they need us to be sick and I for one think we as a people have had enough bed rest.

Once we choose to see things the way they are, coupled with who we always strived to be — our best selves — we will be fine and perhaps stronger than ever. I believe if we can once again see the best in each other — put our past in the past, and our strife and crisis in the right light — down the road, some other generation will name this one — I believe it will be good.

But one thing is sure, it will not be one we choose but rather the label we earned.

North Carolina pastor Andrew Brunson is a free man and back on U.S. soil. After being jailed for over two years by the Turkish government, U.S. officials secured Brunson's release on Friday.

Brunson appeared in a Turkish court on Friday, where he was declared guilty of aiding groups who attempted to overthrow President Erdogan in 2016, but he was sentenced to time already served. Brunson has always denied all the charges. He and his wife had served as missionaries in Turkey for 25 years without any previous such accusations. Brunson's arrest seemed to be just part of Erdogans's crackdown on any and all threats to his power, no matter how minor.

RELATED: Apparently religious liberty doesn't apply to Christians in Pakistan

The decision to finally release Brunson followed months of pressure and behind-the-scenes negotiations by the Trump administration. The pastor's detainment frayed relations between Turkey and the U.S. Turkey wanted the U.S. to extradite Fethullah Gulen, an Islamic cleric whom Erdogan blames for orchestrating the coup attempt against him. Doesn't look like that's in the cards now.

Brunson and his wife met with President Trump in the Oval Office on Saturday, where Brunson prayed for the president. The media covering the meeting quickly changed the subject to the disappearance of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi. They wanted to know whether Brunson's release had anything to do with Turkey's desire for the U.S. to put pressure on Saudi Arabia for answers about Khashoggi. President Trump insisted that: "The timing is a strict coincidence. It really is."

That might've been a little more believable if he hadn't tacked on the "it really is" part.

Khashoggi, who works for The Washington Post, entered the Saudi consulate in Istanbul on October 2nd. The Turkish government says Saudi agents then murdered him and dismembered his body. Saudi Arabia continues to deny any involvement in Khashoggi's disappearance.

Pastor Brunson looked severely out of place sitting there in the Oval Office.

Pastor Brunson's release will not suddenly thaw relations between the U.S. and Turkey. In reference to Brunson, the headline of a pro-Erdogan newspaper on Saturday said, "Never come back again!"

Pastor Brunson on the other hand, expressed no bitterness toward Turkey during the Oval Office press conference. He said: "We were there for 25 years, and we love the Turkish people."

Pastor Brunson looked severely out of place sitting there in the Oval Office – a humble pastor, devoted to his faith and flock, caught for a moment in the dirty, ruthless, sticky web of international politics.

This weekend, once again, Portland became the stage for radicalism and violence, insanity pretending to be heroic. An extreme, real-world outbreak of the tribal warfare that has shaken our culture and our country as a whole. Of course I'm talking about Antifa.

Yes, there were right-leaning protestors there, but, as usual, they were the ones under attack.

RELATED: Portland mayor allows hostile Antifa mob to threaten city's residents

If only Antifa members realized how utterly postmodern they are—I mean, let's start with the fact that they showed up to an event called the "Law and Order March" with "hard knuckle gloves, knives and firearms." The resultant mayhem has become so common that it would be redundant to give the details. And, more important, what matters here is that this behavior is not only continuing, but worsening.

I don't like to talk about problems and leave people without a solution, or at least a hint of reassurance.

Last week, The Atlantic published an article, titled "Americans Strongly Dislike PC Culture"

Here are a few standouts:

Some 8 percent of Americans are progressive activists, and their views are even less typical. By contrast, the two-thirds of Americans who don't belong to either extreme constitute an 'exhausted majority.' Their members 'share a sense of fatigue with our polarized national conversation, a willingness to be flexible in their political viewpoints, and a lack of voice in the national conversation.' Most members of the 'exhausted majority,' and then some, dislike political correctness. Among the general population, a full 80 percent believe that 'political correctness is a problem in our country.' Even young people are uncomfortable with it, including 74 percent ages 24 to 29, and 79 percent under age 24. On this particular issue, the woke are in a clear minority across all ages.

And here's the real clincher, a hard-and-fast, data-based assertion that most of us, most of America, has realized all along but has been too petrified to express:

Compared with the rest of the (nationally representative) polling sample, progressive activists are much more likely to be rich, highly educated—and white. They are nearly twice as likely as the average to make more than $100,000 a year. They are nearly three times as likely to have a postgraduate degree. And while 12 percent of the overall sample in the study is African American, only 3 percent of progressive activists are. With the exception of the small tribe of devoted conservatives, progressive activists are the most racially homogeneous group in the country.

Antifa is the most perfect representation of this bratty population. They, more than any other group or individual, represent the heinous, obnoxious intentions of the New Left. As I have said before, their social justice warfare is inherently postmodern. Their war is against you.

But, there is a way out.

But, there is a way out.

I can assume that if you're listening to me now, you're already going to vote in a few weeks during mid-terms. That's a big one. The other thing you can do is stay informed. And remember that you are not alone, not by far.