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Radio interview
Alan Keyes on 107.5 WGCI FM Chicago with Howard McGee
September 8, 2004
Chicago, Illinois

[opening statements unavailable]

ALAN KEYES, ILLINOIS U.S. SENATE CANDIDATE: I was just out this morning for a beautiful stroll, talking to some folks on my way to Mass, and it was quite nice.

HOWARD MCGEE, HOST: Now, Dr. Keyes, let's see--so, are you happy with your campaign thus far?

KEYES: I think we are getting the message across that I think is most important to the people of this state. I have, for many years of my life, been the candidate of moral priority, and I've been trying to refocus the attention of voters on the truth that there are some key moral issues that affect our lives, our families, what is happening in our streets and schools, and that we have to address these as a matter of top priority, while, of course, dealing with the way we translate them, that renewed moral strength, into practical results.

MCGEE: What are those key moral issues you talked about?

KEYES: Well, I think the first one is respect for family life, and all the things that go into making it up. I think that that's the key to economic strength, because we know that strong families are the basis for individuals to move forward in life. It's the key to success in schools, because we know that that strong family environment is an essential ingredient of success for our kids in schools.

And that means, if we allow attitudes to creep in that introduce selfishness and the notion that, somehow or another, relationships are just about ourselves, into that family life, we're making a huge error.

So, the assault that's now taking place on traditional marriage should be taken seriously by everyone, because I think that it represents the last and final step in the surrender of the true understanding of marriage--the commitment to childbearing, childrearing, and the future. And if we allow folks who are pushing for things like gay marriage to have their way, we will abandon the moral mentality that is necessary to sustain decent family life, and that will be disastrous.

We're already seeing that, by the way, in terms of its consequences, in the black community, where kids being raised in fatherless homes are faced with all kinds of problems where they end up, as we know, disproportionately subject to poverty, to crime, to violence, to sexual temptation, to drugs. That strong family environment is really the first bulwark of strength for our children--and we can't afford to let its moral foundations crumble.

I think this is connected with the other issue I think is greatly important. We have to value our children. We can't go around telling them that life is so bad that it would be better if you had never been born, and so we must fight for the right to kill you in the womb. I think that mentality sends a message to our kids that is so destructive of their self-confidence. I wish people would understand what we are doing and saying.

The heritage that we have is the heritage of a people who never said die, even in the face of the worst circumstances, we never gave up our courage and our love of life. But I think that now we are subject to a holocaust.

Do you realize that in the black community overall right now, more babies are being aborted than are being born?*

That's a holocaust. That's actually a form of self-administered genocide. And we need to stop giving in to the false lies that are inducing us down this road, and start expressing, once again, the confidence that no matter what the world says, our children are worth every bit of love and effort that it takes to make sure that they're able to succeed in the world.

And I think we then have to translate that renewed commitment to life to an insistence on control over our own lives, our families, our communities, our schools, our neighborhoods, with the self-confidence that says we're ready to stand forward, and we don't need to be dominated by government bureaucrats and politicians as the gatekeepers of our lives.

MCGEE: So, Dr. Keyes, what about a woman's right to choice? You don't agree with that?

KEYES: I'm sorry, I have often said to people, if there is a fundamental right to life, and a fundamental right to liberty that is God-given, I don't see how one person gets the right to choose to kill another.

I don't understand this. I don't know where it comes from. It's just like slavery. How does one person get the right to enslave another? I know that in the old days, people used to claim these rights, but not every right that people claim is in fact grounded in truth.

If we say we're all created equal, how do we draw the line and say, "Well, we're all created equal except for the babes in the womb"--who have the same claim to humanity. Their mother and father are just as human as yours and mine.

MCGEE: Whoa.

KEYES: How can we then say that that humanity will be denied, and someone else gets to choose to kill them? I think the time to exercise choice is the time when we're making decisions about those sexual relations, when we're making decisions that ought to be made in light of the true and sacred nature of that bond. And we ought to say, we're going to respect one another, we're going to respect the life we can build together. We're not going to abuse each other as instruments of pleasure, when we know at the end of the day, that undercuts what we need to do, in order to make that positive, constructive commitment to life.

MCGEE: Dr. Keyes, what are your thoughts on gays?

KEYES: Well, I think that the issue that's confronting us is really not about gays or not gays. It's about whether or not we're going to defend marriage and the right understanding that underlies marriage.

I believe that everybody has a right to their privacy, and invading that sphere is not something government ought to be doing.

But at the same time, the public has the right to defend those institutions that are the basis of our public life, our public future. The perpetuation of society through the right upbringing of our children requires a strong family structure, grounded in a right understanding of human sexual relations.

And so, the battle is really a positive one. It's not against anybody. It's for something that's really vital to the future of society.

MCGEE: I saw something interesting in the paper this morning, Dr. Keyes. You said that Jesus wouldn't endorse your opponent. What did you mean by that?

KEYES: Well, I think it's quite clear. I think people need to think through the key issues that are confronting us. One of the things that really attracted my attention to this whole situation was the fact that, as a [state] senator, Barack Obama voted against a bill that would have stopped the heinous practice of live birth killing in our hospitals--where a baby, born alive in the course of a botched abortion, is in the arms of the nurse, not even connected with the mother, living entirely independent of the mother, and the only decision to be made is whether you're going to care for it, as its humanity demands, or not.

Somebody asked me--and that's where this came from--how I would look at that situation, and I said, "I have to look at it according to my conscience." And my conscience is shaped by my faith, and my faith is shaped by the standard of Christ. And so, I have to ask myself, "What would Christ do with that child in His arms? What would He do?"

We all know that He'd heal that child. We all know that He'd care for that child. We all know that He told us that someone who would harm a hair on the head of the innocent children deserves to have a millstone tied around his neck and be thrown in the river. He was harsh in His words about those who disrespect the innocent life of children. And I think we need to remember this and realize that we can't have people representing us who don't understand the obligation we have as a community to respect that innocent life.

MCGEE: Dr. Keyes, thanks for your time. Good luck on the campaign trail. I look forward to talking to you again.

KEYES: I sure appreciate it. Thank you.

MCGEE: Dr. Keyes, y'all.



* Dr. Keyes amended this statistic in the October 26, 2004, debate with Barack Obama:

"I did misspeak a little last time, because I had said more black babies were being aborted than were being born. In fact, I think the ratio is 55% live births, 45% abortions--but you know, that's still pretty bad, and it leads to a situation, over time, that's gonna be awful for the black community."

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