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TOWN HALL MEETING on the Scott Thomas Show, AM 1160, WYLL
Alan Keyes, guest-host
September 17, 2004

The following is a special edition of the Scott Thomas Show on WYLL. In the first half of the show, Alan Keyes has a town hall meeting with members of the Family Harvest Church in Tinley Park. In the second half, Alan Keyes subsitutes for Scott Thomas and takes phone calls. Credit goes to the Family Harvest Church in Tinley Park, WYLL, and David McAloon for making the audio and video available.

DAVE SANTRELLA, HOST: Good afternoon. This is Dave Santrella, general manager for AM 1160, WYLL. We welcome you to this very special edition of the Scott Thomas Show. For the next two hours, it is our pleasure to present to you today's special guest host, Republican senatorial candidate, Dr. Alan Keyes.

(applause)

During our first hour, we'll have a town hall meeting featuring members of Family Harvest Church in Tinley Park. Our moderator will be Pastor Mike Kell, associate pastor at Family Harvest Church. During the second hour, Dr. Alan Keyes will be taking your calls at (847) 956-5042. That's (847) 956-5042. I think it's important that you know that we extended invitations to all Illinois senatorial candidates to appear on the Scott Thomas Show. Dr. Keyes has been kind enough to accept our invitation. And now, it is my great pleasure to welcome Illinois Republican senatorial candidate, Dr. Alan Keyes.

(applause)

ALAN KEYES, ILLINOIS U.S. SENATE CANDIDATE: Hi. Good afternoon.

(Audience responds: "Good afternoon.")

I just want to welcome everybody, say how pleased I am to be here and able to share some thoughts with all of you this afternoon and with the listening audience out there. It should be great.

SANTRELLA: Absolutely, Dr. Keyes. We look forward to your comments and questions. When we return, we'll begin our Town hall meeting with Dr. Alan Keyes and members of Family Harvest Church in Tinley Park. You're listening to the Scott Thomas Show on AM 1160, WYLL.

(commercial break)

SANTRELLA: Welcome back to this special edition of the Scott Thomas Show on AM 1160, WYLL. I'm general manager Dave Santrella. And now we begin our town hall meeting, moderated by Pastor Mike Kell, associate pastor at Family Harvest Church in Tinley Park.

PASTOR MIKE KELL, MODERATOR: Thank you very much, Dave. Dr. Keyes, it's a privilege and an honor for me to meet you and be here, and we really want to ask you some questions in here, the thoughts you have about Christians being involved in politics, and as a representative of my pastor, Rob Thompson, and Family Harvest Church, we have a lot of members of churches here in our studio and thousands listening. What would you say to us, as an active church member, what could we do, to get involved?

DR. KEYES: Well, I think it's actually very critical right now that people of faith be involved in our political life--probably more critical than it has ever been before in our country's history. We are faced with major issues that involve the kind of moral challenges that, I think, require people of conscience, and if we don't see involvement by people who really take seriously the requirements of God's will, then we are going to lose fundamental and important aspects of our way of life, starting, of course, with the marriage-based family, which is now explicitly under assault in the courts.

That assault is likely to succeed, if we're not able to rally people around the country, see things like the Defense of Marriage Act supported, see the Federal Marriage Amendment pushed through--these are the sorts of things that obviously require political action. And so we're clearly at a time when, even if we were tempted to accept the notion of separation of church and state, we'd clearly be dealing with issues where the two have to overlap.

MODERATOR: That's right.

DR. KEYES: Because if you've come to the point where, in the institutions of our civic life, marriage is being defined in a way that's incompatible with the true moral foundation of marriage and family life, how could we sit on our hands and let that happen? The law, after all, is a standard in society, isn't it?

MODERATOR: That's right.

DR. KEYES: And if that standard is going to be set in such a way that it directly conflicts with what we, in our faith and belief, know to be God's will, then we're going to be in a terrible situation, both when it comes to sustaining family life and when it comes to raising our children in this society. And so I think that it's clear that this is a time that especially challenges people of faith and conscience to get involved, even if it's uncomfortable. And I think that there's no doubt that, being as how we have been misled over the course of the last several decades, and through the pressures also, I would have to say, of the income tax system and how it is enforced with respect to the churches, there has built up a notion that, somehow or another, faith belongs in the pews and in the church, but when you come to the public arena, and to the voting booth, and to the legislatures, and to the courts, that it doesn't belong there.

And I've never understood how, in this country, people, citizens of faith, could have accepted that, given that we live in a context where, from the very beginning of the nation's life, God was acknowledged as the source of justice.

"We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights"--and I often tell people, sure, we focus on the rights, but the truth is, what that premise of our whole way of life means is that, without the Creator, we have no rights.

So if you can't acknowledge God and you don't respect His authority, then our claim to rights, which is the basis for the whole way of life we know--with representative government, due process, protection of individual rights and liberties--all of that has no foundation if we do not acknowledge God and acknowledge His authority, because it's His authority, in the end, that was invoked in order to vindicate the claim of all human beings to be respected in their basic rights.

We have come to a time when we need to remember this heritage, when we need to act boldly and without shame in the context of that American heritage to reassert the truth that we have the right to apply faith to conscience, and conscience to the decisions that we take as citizens.

MODERATOR: That's powerful. I believe that what you're talking about is changing for the good, that there's a grassroots movement, because at our church, at Family Harvest, we have thousands of active church members, but now we're being awakened to get active in politics, get more active in society, and evidence of that is some of the people we have here in the studio, and I would like to give them an opportunity to address a question to you, Dr. Keyes. Would that be all right?

DR. KEYES: Sure.

MODERATOR: OK, our first question. Go ahead.

AUDIENCE MEMBER: Dr. Keyes, good afternoon. My name is Ray Keys, from Matteson, Illinois.

DR. KEYES: Oh, really.

(laughter)

How do you spell that, Ray?

AUDIENCE MEMBER: That's without the "e"--"K-E-Y-S."

DR. KEYES: Well, you realize that my family name, on my father's side, is spelled without the "e."

AUDIENCE MEMBER: Oh.

DR. KEYES: My grandmother's name was "K-E-Y-S," and the "e" got added somewhere in the course of his military career, or something--so we could be related. You never know.

AUDIENCE MEMBER: We could.

(laughter)

I believe our nation is at a moral crossroad, as you mention, the issues pertaining to abortion and homosexuality--they will affect our children, and their children's children. If you are elected to the Senate, Dr. Keyes, how would you address these issues on a more practical stance?

DR. KEYES: Well, I think there are several things that need to be done. I am a supporter of the Defense of Marriage Act, the aim of which is to make clear that marriage is between one man and one woman.

I think that, given the kinds of things that are going on in states like Massachusetts--where, in that particular instance, the courts have forced a change that the legislature and the people do not want, but nonetheless, we could end up in a situation where marriage licenses are issued in Massachusetts and then are taken to some other state, where people would want to claim that they would have to be recognized, because of the Full Faith and Credit Clause in the Constitution. Given that possibility, and given the predilection of our courts, despite our heritage and history, because there's actually a good argument to be made that in matters like this the states have had the right to resist, and not to accept what's done in other states, but I think, given the way the federal courts are going, you and I know that the likelihood is that they would be making decisions that would force all the states to accept what one state had done.

That's why I think the Federal Marriage Amendment is important; important that it be particularly worded in such a way as to make clear that nothing in the Constitution should be construed so as to require that marriage be anything else than between one man and one woman. That would effectively tell the federal courts that they could not interpret the Constitution in such a way as to force on all the states what one or two states might be doing.

Now obviously, given the way that the judges have been acting over the course of the last several decades, I don't think that we can be sure that, even so, they would abide by the Constitution. They have had a tendency to make things up.

(laughter)

And therefore I think we're going to need strong representation in the U.S. Senate and the House. It might be necessary to impeach one or two judges, to make sure that they pay attention to what the Congress desires and what is there in the Constitution. It might also be necessary, on some fronts, to limit the jurisdiction of the federal courts, which can be done, by the way, by majority vote of the Congress, so that certain things that they would be tempted to touch, but which are forbidden to the federal government by the Constitution--for instance, all the issues having to do with church-state relations--were in fact forbidden to the federal government by the U.S. Constitution.

"Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion." That means, by the way, that there can be no basis in federal law for federal courts to intervene on those questions. It makes you wonder how come they've been doing it. And that's the only thing that's said in the Constitution [on church-state relations].

So, I would be part of the effort to pass legislation aimed at limiting the jurisdiction of the judges. I was one of the first people in the country, in fact, to point this out and to make the argument that this is a step that needs to be taken. It has gathered steam in the Congress, and I think we have a very good chance of seeing steps like this taken, provided--provided--we can mobilize the constituency of conscience, and get good people elected.

MODERATOR: That's good. What do you mean by the "constituency of conscience"?

DR. KEYES: Well, I think that that basically means, believers who are willing to translate their faith into effective participation as citizens, because we have been--and I use the word advisedly--I think we've been brainwashed into accepting something that is simply not true, and that has made many people in the church feel timid about speaking out and getting involved in political things, as if somehow or another, "Well, that's OK in church and for church things, but when you're a citizen, you can't do that."

I really have wondered, though, how we could have accepted this. And I don't mean this from just a citizen point of view, but from a Christian point of view. It seems to me that it's quite clear that, when you have accepted Christ into your life, when you have admitted Him into your heart, when He has changed your mind and has essentially, through your submission, His will has become your will, that's what the whole aim of your prayer and faith life is. Well, can you go somewhere where Christ is not allowed to go?

I think not. So, you can't be doing certain kinds of professions which are contrary to the will of God.

Well, if, in order to get into the voting booth, or in order to get into politics, I have to check Jesus at the door, as it were--leave Him outside--is it possible for me to participate? It's not, because it's not possible for me to have that kind of a divided self.

My self is sole, and single, and concentrated on discipleship with the Lord, and that means wherever I go, that's the way I have to be. And if that's true, there can be no separation of church and state in our hearts, in our minds--we must be one person, devoted to Christ and God, and serving the will of God in all that we do, including what we do in citizenship.

And the fact that we've been willing to buy into a kind of bifurcated spirituality that sort of says, "Well, be spiritual over here, but when you get into public arena, forget it"--this is contrary to what we know to be our vocation as Christian people.

MODERATOR: That's very good, Dr. Keyes.

HOST: When we return, more of our town hall meeting with Dr. Alan Keyes and members of Family Harvest Church in Tinley Park. You're listening to the Scott Thomas Show on AM 1160, WYLL.

(commercial break)

Welcome back to this special edition of the Scott Thomas Show on AM 1160-WYLL. I'm general manager Dave Santrella, and now we continue our town hall meeting, moderated by Pastor Mike Kell, associate pastor at Family Harvest Church in Tinley Park.

MODERATOR: Thank you, Dave. Dr. Keyes, let's go right back to the studio audience. Another question.

AUDIENCE MEMBER: Dr. Keyes, I am Jackie Keys, and my mother always wants to put a "e" in my name when she writes my name, so that covers it all. With all that said, it's very awesome what you just said. I'd like to know, what can we do as Christians on the local level, to make sure that we are represented in Congress?

DR. KEYES: Well, I think that most important thing we have to do right now, particularly here in Illinois, is register. I mean, we have from now through the first few days of October to get this done, and, of course, if you haven't registered to vote, then you're not going to be there on election day, so it is critical right now that people focus on reaching out to folks, and waking them up and making them realize how critically important it is that we be mobilized as a people of faith, in order to apply our conscientious judgment to the choice we have to make in the voting booth, because if we're not present--and we were just talking about it, here in the break--something like two-thirds of the folks who are self-professed Christians didn't go to the polls in the last election.

Think about that. And then we wonder about the terrible crisis in marriage. We wonder about how abortion is rampant and nothing is being done. We wonder about the deterioration of respect for basic moral values in entertainment and things of this kind.

These things are occurring because folks who profess to be believers are not acting according to their faith, are not in fact applying the tenets of faith and conscience to the choices that they have to make.

Now, we know that this is an ordinary part of life, right? As a father, one of the things that you learn is that you have to be a Christian father. You must apply the faith and apply the fruits of it to your life as you deal with your spouse, as you deal with your children. You must get into the Word and apply what's there so that you will be walking a way that corresponds to God's will.

In every other walk of life, just like that--we talk about the workplace; we talk about what is done with students in school and how they need to be--why is it that we've accepted the notion that we are to be Christian in every walk of life, except when it comes to citizenship? And this, in a country, by the way, that was founded on the basis of tenets that respect and acknowledge the existence and authority of God. There is no incompatibility, at that level, between our faith and the basic civic principles of our society. We have a whole heritage that we can draw on to justify our participation, as Christians and believers in God, in the political process, and yet, we've been talked out of it. We've been talked into essentially believing that that's not our business as Christians, and yet, because of that, think of what is going to happen.

And when I think through the family and its implications, if you substitute the idea of marriage that they're trying to promote now--which, to put it in its mildest form, is based on a recreational understanding of human sexuality instead of a procreational--then what have you got? You have got an approach to marriage that's all about self-gratification, it's all about self-regarding, self-fulfillment.

Can we really base marriage on this? Obviously not, because marriage, at the end of the day, is about regarding God and regarding your obligations under God for the life that He has entrusted to you in the child. It's about not living for yourself, but instead living according to His will to provide for the child, to provide for that future that you may never live see, which the child will live in. It means you have to put aside gratification. We all know this, as parents.

As parents, we put aside gratification--like sleeping, for instance. Almost from the very moment that our children come into the world. And that's just the beginning.

So, the idea that the society will set in the law a standard that is so utterly opposed to the standard required by our faith, and we're going to sit there and accept this, even though, if you look at consequences elsewhere, if you look at some of the Scandinavian counties, where they have adopted this gay marriage idea, and so forth--what has been the result? Well, the result has been that fewer and fewer and fewer people are getting married, that upwards of eighty percent, now, of people are opting not to marry.

And that means that, though they're still bringing children into the world and so forth, they're doing it outside the context of God's ordained structure of the family. And that loss of family structure, as we know, leads to terrible problems. It leads to greater poverty, greater crime, greater violence, greater incidence of drug abuse, greater promiscuity, to broken lives, to broken heart. We know that the family structure is so fundamental, in all the areas of our economic and social life, that, if we allow its moral foundation to be destroyed in this way, and allow the infrastructure of the family to collapse, we're going to see devastating consequences for our society. And the most important one of which, I think, would be the transformation of character in a direction of selfishness, because after all, the incubator of real attachment to community--that ability to put others before yourself--don't we learn that in the family? Isn't that the context in which we really learn it? And if we have substituted a morality of selfishness for that, we're gonna be in trouble.

MODERATOR: Dr. Keyes, that's good. At my church, when I go home to Family Harvest and I hear my pastor speak, even our name is about the family. We want to see a harvest of families. But I appreciate you being able to articulate what we believe, that Christian families need to be involved in society.

Let's have another question for Dr. Keyes.

AUDIENCE MEMBER: Hi, Dr. Keyes.

DR. KEYES: Hi.

AUDIENCE MEMBER: My name is Karen Jan (sp?), I'm from Morris, Illinois. I'm wondering if you could define for me "compassionate conservatism."

DR. KEYES: Well, I always hesitate a little bit--I mean, the folks who use the phrase, I know what they mean [by] "compassionate conservatism." The reason I hesitate a little bit is because, as I understand it, "compassionate conservatism" is a little bit of a redundancy. See?

I think that true conservatism was, at its heart, always compassionate, but with a true compassion, because one of the things that has struck me over the course of many years is that, when you look at some of the things that people call "liberalism," and a lot of it had to do with the support for government programs that were intended--I think, in many cases, truly intended--to help people. Welfare programs. Programs that were intended to help provide people with shelter, and clothing, and supplements when they were poor.

When you actually, though, examine the operation of those programs, which I did years ago when I wrote my book, Masters of the Dream, I spent a long time looking at how these programs had actually worked out, particularly in their impact on the black community, which was the subject of the book. And what I found was, that the way these programs were put together and administered actually ended up doing terrible harm to people. They ended up discouraging people from work. They ended up breaking up the family. They actually operated in such a way as to discourage people, for instance, from getting married. And if you reached a stage where you got married, and were interested in getting back to work and all, you weren't helped. And think about that: "I'll help you, so long as you're not doing the right thing. But if you start to do the right stuff, then we won't help you any more."

That's the way the system was structured! So I think, from the point of view of conservatives, we looked at that and said, "Two things are true. First of all, it's not compassionate, if you are pouring money into government programs in the name of helping people, and the end result is to destroy their moral character, is to destroy the incentive to work, to destroy the family structure in a community. You are actually introducing terrible problems and burdens into the community when you do that."

So, true compassion would look for results that corresponded to truth, and those results would be stronger families, not weaker families. Those results would be people who are working together in the marriage partnership to sustain economic life, not acting in a way that left a whole slew of single, unwed mothers alone to bear the burden of childrearing. And people are doing it courageously. They are doing it with much greater effectiveness than we would have any right to expect, but think of how much more difficult we've made life for people, by tearing apart the natural partnership that God intended, and by not looking at and enforcing the mutual responsibilities that ought to be there in that basic marriage relationship.

So I think that, at its heart, conservatism displays that true kind of compassion, the compassion that looks for results that correspond to truth, dignity, and decent morality, rather than just looking to say, "Well, we spent so much and so much money on this welfare program. Therefore, we are good people." And you don't really care whether or not you've produced good results. I think, at the end of the day, the rubric is simple. Jesus said, "By their fruits ye shall know them." And I think that's a remarkably good standard for making judgments about things, because it means that you're not only looking at words and you're not only looking at actions. Often, people forget that.

MODERATOR: Uh-huh.

DR. KEYES: "By their fruits ye shall know them" doesn't mean, "Just look at actions." It means, "Look at the results of the actions and see if they are bearing fruit." And if they are bearing fruit, then you validate them.

And I think that all these "helping things" that people claim were doing so much good through all this government spending, they didn't bear the fruits. And therefore, we needed to take a different approach, that supported work, that supported marriage, that encouraged moral responsibility, and that doesn't mean you're not helping people. It means that, in point of fact, you're gonna put them in the way of situations and circumstances where they're strengthened in order to be able to take care of themselves and be responsible to one another and to God.

MODERATOR: That's good, Dr. Keyes. It seems like what you're saying, and what's happening, in the body of Christ, is that we're finding out one person can make a difference. One church can make a difference. And now, let's have another question from the studio.

AUDIENCE MEMBER: Hi, Dr. Keyes. My name is Greg Henthorne (sp) and I'm from Morris, Illinois, and my question is, how close are we to overturning Roe v. Wade, and how can we as Christians help influence this?

DR. KEYES: Hmm. Well, in terms of overturning Roe, I wish I could tell you. You realize, of course, that if it were simply a matter of appointments to the Supreme Court, made under circumstances that would have led you to believe that the people being appointed were going to be folks who would reexamine this decision and reject what was, after all, its very poor legal reasoning, then we should have seen Roe v. Wade overturned already, but it hasn't been, because some of the folks who were appointed by presidents, for instance, who were intending their appointments to move in this direction, then disappointed us and haven't turned out to be what we thought they were.

So, I think it's in that sense a kind of iffy situation. But, if we can mobilize in such a way that we are putting into the Senate and into Congress people who are committed to the pro-life cause and who understand how to articulate it, effectively--because I think that commitment is important, but also a commitment to stand before the public and in a reasonable way make clear why abortion is inconsistent with our American identity, our American principles--I think that we can change hearts.

And I realize that this is very unpopular, this belief.

A matter of fact, I am constantly being put under pressure at the moment as to why I keep talking about certain things, because, "It makes people uncomfortable," and, "They're not gonna vote for you," and so forth and so on.

The whole assumption of our political life has become that, when you are engaging in politics around election time, you can't change anybody's mind. Well, if you can't change anybody's mind, what exactly are you doing? I thought politics was about persuasion, and persuasion ought to mean that you give the best case you can and that reasonable, decent people will listen to you, and if you make sense to them, even if they thought one way, they'll think another, because it makes sense to them.

That's the kind of thing I think we have to do when dealing with the issue of life, because I think many, many people, when they stop to think it through, their hearts can change on this issue, and what you have to do is take the time to help them think it through, and that's not only true in politics. It's true of us as individuals, as we're working with our families, as we're working in our churches, as we're working in our schools and in our workplaces. We have many, many opportunities, in a spirit of love and compassion, to be talking to people, and to be sharing what is--after all, there's a common ground in America, certain respect for basic rights and dignity. If you can show people that something is incompatible with that common ground, a lot of decent, honest folks will say, "Well, gosh, I just never thought of it that way. I'd better change my mind."

That, I think, offers hope that Roe will be overturned, not because we luck out and get some judges on the Supreme Court that will do it the right way, but because we have consistently been working to change the heart of America, and as that heart changes, which I think is happening--we can see that in declining numbers of abortion, in the different attitudes of the younger generation toward abortion--as that change happens, I think we start to get back on course in terms of our ideas and ideals, and that implies that we will abandon this wrong position.

MODERATOR: Dr. Keyes, you said a phrase that caught my attention: "If we can mobilize." What would you say to myself being here with you as a pastor of a local church, when I go back to Family Harvest, what would you say to me and all the other pastors that are listening, of local congregation--what can we do to mobilize Christians to be involved?

DR. KEYES: Well, I think it's just a matter of making clear to people that part of their Christian vocation--part of their Christian vocation--is, in fact, to acknowledge and accept the responsibilities that God has given us as members of the sovereign body of the people of the United States. I mean, in that sense, the people of our country are David and Solomon. We are the ones who, in fact, have been anointed here by God to choose the ministers, including the President and everybody else.

That being the case, we have a responsibility before God as to how we use this opportunity that He has given us. And I think that, if it's presented in that way, people will understand it to be, not something in addition to their Christian life, it's just part of their Christian life.

MODERATOR: It's not so much a response to church activity. "Let's all as Christians get involved" [is about] accepting a responsibility.

DR. KEYES: That's right. It's more, understanding that you have been put in a certain position by God, and that you must act in that position, as the Apostle says, in such a way that you realize you are serving Christ. I mean, and if this was true even of people who were enslaved--because the Apostle said, "Even if you're a slave, you can be a slave serving Christ"--surely, we are free!

We can't be a free people, serving Christ? What is this? This is crazy. People who are in bondage can serve Christ, but people who are free can't use their freedom in such a way that it corresponds to Christ's will? Of course we can, and of course it is, then, just another manifestation of the Christian heart that's in us.

MODERATOR: That's very good.

(applause)

HOST: Our town hall meeting with Dr. Alan Keyes and members of Family Harvest Church continues in just moments, right here on AM 1160, WYLL.

(commercial break)

Welcome back to AM 1160, WYLL. This is a special edition of the Scott Thomas Show with guest host, Dr. Alan Keyes. Our town hall meeting with members of Family Harvest Church and moderator, Pastor Mike Kell, continues.

MODERATOR: Thank you, Dave. Dr. Keyes, I have a very important question as Christians are stirred to get involved, as obviously we are and the studio audience is. I know thousands of people are listening now, wanting to get involved. How can we, as Christians, find out accurate information in regards to the candidates, in light of the apparent bias that the media has shown reporting on candidates--for example, the CBS 60 Minutes fiasco?

DR. KEYES: Well, I think it's pretty obvious--and I hope, to people now--that the media is completely unreliable, and it's at least in part, I think, because they have biases. Let's be frank about it. And a lot of those biases seem particularly directed at folks who are representing positions of conscience on vital issues.

I have found--and some people say they are biased against Republicans. No. I have found that their real bias is against people who are conservative and pro-life.

MODERATOR: That's a good point.

DR. KEYES: If you're conservative and pro-life, you are going to be portrayed as just, you know, off-the-wall, terrible, weird. "How could anybody be like that?"--even though it reflects the hearts of many, many people throughout the country and throughout Illinois. This is how the media's gonna present it. So, you can't rely on that.

Thank goodness, though, the Internet, now, is there for us. We have a website, Keyes2004.com, K-E-Y-E-S-2-0-0-4.com, and we have loaded it up with position papers. You can click on things and get speeches that I've given. They have videos that have been done of different appearances that I've made, and things like this. You can get an idea of where I stand, as opposed to my opponent, on the issues, and, I think, things like that, particularly if you know the candidate, and this is somebody who is standing for the right things, and they have put together a website like this, I think it's very important that you know it, that you direct people there, because they can get a straighter story, and sometimes when the media's distorting things, you'll also find the accurate portrayal on the website.

So, I think people ought to take advantage of these things. Also, of course, there are going to be things from various groups that will be distributed directly to folks at home and churches in particular, where you'll get an idea of where different candidates stand on the issues of concern to people of faith--and that, I think, is also an important resource to be aware of and take advantage of.

MODERATOR: That's very important. Let's have another question from the studio audience.

AUDIENCE MEMBER: My name is Deanna Hochschild (sp). I'm from Morris, Illinois, and I read somewhere that you believe in eliminating the federal income tax. Could you explain that to us?

DR. KEYES: Well, I think it's actually a fairly straightforward proposal, to get rid of a tax that should not have been allowed in the first place, in my opinion. When the Constitution of the United States was originally written, the Founders wrote it in such a way that the federal government could not impose an income tax, and even though one was imposed briefly during the Civil War, it was then struck down by the courts on the grounds that it was unconstitutional. That is why they had to pass the Sixteenth Amendment, supposedly to make it possible for such a tax to be imposed.

The reason that I oppose the tax itself is that the income tax represents the surrender of control over our hard-earned resources, and if you think about it, it's really very simple. If I make a deal with you, that you get control of whatever percentage of my income you determine, how much of my income do you control? Well, obviously, in principle, all of it, or as much as you want. The income tax represents that surrender to the government. Whatever percentage of our income they want, as determined by them, will then be taken out of our pocket before we get anything to say about it, right? So, the first use of those important dollars will be taken away from us.

The way that the Founders intended for the federal government to be funded was through excise taxes. We would call them today, sales taxes. Why is a sales tax a better system? Because you control the incidence of taxation. You don't get taxed 'til you buy the good, and the proposals that are on the table, like the Fair Tax, have provision that you have a market basket of goods and services that wouldn't be taxed, so that people who are poor would not have to pay federal income taxes. You have programs established so that people who have paid taxes all their lives and are living on retirement wouldn't be subject to the tax. But beyond that, what would you do?

You'd put people in a situation where, if you're chugging along in life and you kind of feel like now is the time to save for the kids' education, now is the time to put a little something aside for the home you've always wanted, and so forth and so on, you can take your dollars and do that, rather than spend them and, as you're saving and investing, you won't be taxed.

You can decide that, "I'm gonna restrict myself to the non-taxes basics," rather than go out and get the more luxury items, because this is a time to be frugal, this is a time to put money aside. Any time you want, you can give yourself a tax cut, and you get control over how you're allocating your income rather than giving that control away to politicians and bureaucrats.

The basic point is that you eliminate the system that now interferes with the empowerment of individuals to control their own family and lives. We're in a situation now, by the way, where because we don't have control of what I think of as our surplus--the money that, after you've paid for food, clothing, shelter, and transportation, is left over--do you realize that most of that surplus is taxed away from us now? The government controls it, and we don't get to decide about it. That's why it sometimes seems so hard to get done things that we want to get done, like give to our churches, and so forth and so on. The government's taking away our surplus.

Well, if it didn't take away that surplus, we'd decide how to allocate it, among things that we care about, like church activities, or saving for education, or investment for the future. We'd make those decisions. We don't get to make them now, because the government is expropriating that money, and it's being decided by politicians and bureaucrats what's gonna be done with it. So, I think we need to move to a system that empowers people with control.

One last point, particularly of importance to, I think, believers. I think that the income tax system has been abused in order to paralyze the voice of Christian conscience. They invent this phony doctrine of separation, they give to the churches a tax break, and then they say, "If you dare to bring your religion into politics, we'll smack you down."

And with the end result that they have actually taken the voice of conscience and decency and shut it down in a lot of cases. And then we wonder why it is that in law and public life we don't hear from the pastors, we don't hear from the people of faith and conscience. We don't hear from them because they're all cowering in the shadows of 501(c)(3)!

This system has been abused, therefore, in order to remove from political life the influence that, if you look at our history, was probably the most important positive influence at every stage of American history--when the frontiers were being opened up, when we were dealing with the issue of slavery, when we dealt with the issue of women's rights and civil rights. The churches were in the lead in all these great advances of decency and justice.

In all of these great advances of decency and justice, until we reach this era where, through the manipulation, at least in part, of the income tax structure, they have been pushed into the cold, shut down, and told to shut up.

So, I think that [abolishing the income tax] would also free the conscience of America from what has been the burdensome and dangerous effect of this income tax system.

MODERATOR: That's very good, Dr. Keyes. Let's have our next question.

AUDIENCE MEMBER: Dr. Keyes, I'm Shirley Holman (sp) from Lockport, Illinois. Where do you think America is headed if they don't select a president who fears God?

Dr. KEYES: Well, I think it's quite clear, because the scripture is very clear that "blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord." And if you live in the fear of God, then you end up living in a way that has less fear, in terms of all these human problems we face.

And I think that that's very clear right now, as we deal with some of the threats we face in the world. Think about the threat of terrorism and what is likely to be the mind and heart of someone who does not acknowledge the existence and authority of God, does not live in fear of God, when dealing with these seemingly fearsome dangers to America. You get yourself into a position where because you have no compass, you have no sense of the absolute principle that divides good from evil. You can get lost and confused in a morass of circumstantial evidence and relativism, not knowing what choice you might make.

A matter of fact, a colleague and I were talking about this just yesterday or the day before, these situations that are brought up in ethics classes and all: "Well, if someone puts a gun to your head, and tells you that you have to shoot an innocent person or they'll kill you, what do you do?" And I pointed out to him that that's only an ethical dilemma if you don't believe in God. If you believe in God, you know exactly what you should do, because you don't live in fear of anything but God.

And that means, if someone wants to shoot your head off, fine, because God is there. He'll take care of you. So long as you're still walking in His will, your one life has ended, but your real life hasn't been touched at all. You know that, if you pull the trigger on that innocent person, your real life has been destroyed, even if your physical life is saved.

So, that acknowledgment of God means that you're not gonna be confused by these seeming dilemmas. And that means that when you're in tough situations, where you have to make decisions about how to defend the country, how to respond to terrorism, how to make sure we balance liberty and security as we're dealing with these problems, I think a strong sense of faith, and a strong sense of the lines that God has drawn for us that help us to see and discern clearly the difference between right and wrong, that helps you to make those decisions with greater firmness and consistency, and without a reliance, necessarily, on the wisdom of hindsight, because you have the courage to act when you need to.

And I have to say, if you don't mind my saying so, that I think that has been has been one characteristic of G. W. Bush, as he has approached these very tough decisions, that seems, in my opinion, to be a consequence of the fact that he is someone who has not been ashamed to let his faith strengthen his judgment and decision, as he's confronted these situations.

MODERATOR: Dr. Keyes, a word that you mention that really touched me was, "influence." My pastor, Rob Thompson, is very influential in my life and my family, and I believe all the Christians here would say that. All the Christians listening feel that same way about their pastor. Would you comment on how our pastor can take that influence into society, when we come back from the break?

(applause)

HOST: We thank Family Harvest Church for their participation in our town hall meeting. Keep your radio right where it is. More of this special edition of the Scott Thomas Show with Dr. Alan Keyes is just moments away. He'll be taking your calls next, at (847) 956-5042. That's (847) 956-5042. This is the Scott Thomas Show on AM 1160, WYLL.

(commercial break)

Welcome back to this special edition of the Scott Thomas Show on AM 1160 WYLL. I'm general manager Dave Santrella. We're now in studio, and Dr. Alan Keyes will be taking your phone calls at (847) 956-5042. That's (847) 956-5042. Before the break, pastor Mike Kell from Family Harvest Church asked a question on the pastor's influence in the community. Dr. Keyes, your comments.

DR. KEYES: Well, I think it's been clear, really, throughout American life and history, that pastors have played a critical role in encouraging people to think about public policy issues, particularly in their moral dimension, to meet the challenges of life. I mean, pastors played a critical role in inspiring participation in the American Revolution. They played a critical role, along with their churches, of course, under their leadership, in things like the Underground Railroad, and the opposition to the injustice of slavery. They played an important role in awakening conscience, as we know, during the Civil Rights Movement.

So, there are many examples in American history where the involvement of the church leaders and pastors was critical to seeing addressed an important issue of justice or conscience in the country. And that that's one of the reasons, again, why I think that this income tax system has such deleterious effects, because it has essentially put a burden on that pastoral leadership, to create a conflict between what's needed to support the church, and what's needed in order to speak out in a clear fashion on issues of Christian conscience. I think that that's a serious problem that could be eliminated if we eliminated the income tax. It's just one element of the good results that would come, but I think it would be a very good thing.

So, shall we go to the phones? Let's go to, line 2. Hello, Vladimir.

CALLER: Yes, hello. I had a question for Dr. Keyes.

DR. KEYES: Yes.

CALLER: I was discussing this income tax issue with a few friends of mine at work, and a very liberal friend of mine mentioned that this system that the Republicans are proposing would seem to be a little unfair on the middle- and lower-class income people, because if you are going to impose a sales tax system, then, you know, since every--most of us are buying food and, you know, housing and these expenses are pretty much standard across the board, so the government, to get the same money they're getting right now, would have to equally increase everybody's tax. So, you know, the poor people would pay as much as somebody who earns over a million a year. How would you respond to this?

DR. KEYES: Well, I've never quite understood that reasoning, to tell you the truth. Let's take a close look at it, though.

First, remember that the tax proposals of the sort that folks like myself would advocate include a market basket of goods and services covering the basics--food, clothing, shelter, and transportation--that would allow a situation where, if you were a lower income person, you would have a range of goods to choose from that would not be subject to taxation, and would provide you with all the basics of life in what would essentially be a non-taxed economy.

Now, that non-taxed economy would also be available to people who are not poor, and who simply wanted to avoid the tax in order to take that money they would pay in taxes and save it, or invest it in something else that was more important to them.

Second, in terms of purchases, the reason I've never quite understood--if you are a person of, kind of, middle-income and you are paying a sales tax when you buy something you're not going to pay as much tax as somebody who's very rich and buys something much more expensive. The tax is, therefore, going to be directly proportional to the means and capacity to pay, because you can buy more expensive stuff if you've got more money, and you'll end up paying a lot more in taxes.

That is, by the way, rather different than the present system, where rich people don't pay taxes. They pay lawyers and accountants to get them out of taxes.

With the result that I think you'd actually see more money flowing into the public coffers from people of higher income than you see now, and it would include, by the way, money that doesn't flow into the public coffers at all, now--criminal money. The kind of money that is spent by, you know, drug dealers go out, they make a lot of money, obviously it's not gonna be taxed by the income tax people, because it's not the sort of thing you'll declare, and they end up not paying. But, when that drug dealer goes to buy his Mercedes Benz under my system, he'd still pay the tax, because if he was gonna enjoy his ill-gotten gains, he'd have to spend them on things that would then be taxed.

So, you'd actually, I think, be pulling money out of the woodwork that now, through legal means and accountants' tricks or through illegality, is not even contributed to the public coffers.

CALLER: All right, thanks a lot.

DR. KEYES: You're welcome. Thank you. Let's go to line 3, Joe in Chicago. Joe? Welcome. Are you there?

CALLER: Yep, I'm here.

DR. KEYES: Hi.

CALLER: How ya doing, Dr. Keyes? It's a pleasure to talk to you. I just want to make a quick, have a quick question. Since it is important that we have a godly president--not just a godly president, but all of our public officials should be godly and God-fearing, what are some of the issues that we should look for to determine whether this person is a God-fearing individual? Is it simply one or two things, or is it a number of things that we ought to look for?

DR. KEYES: Well, I think it's a number of things, because obviously, the sense of our Christian conscience and heart extends over the whole--and that's what we've been talking about--the whole range of our life, right, the various things that we're going to care about and do.

In our time, obviously, as in the past, there are gonna be some issues that stand out, because they are so obviously issues that involve respect or violation of God's will. As an example in the past, take slavery. You know, I think if somebody was standing in the public arena strongly supporting slavery, you wouldn't have to look much farther before you concluded that that person wasn't standing in God's will.

I think there are some issues like that today, abortion being one of them. If somebody is in favor of killing babies in the womb, then you don't have to look much farther to ask yourself whether that person is somebody who's standing in God's will. That's a problem, right there, and I think that, similarly, with the issue of traditional marriage, right now--that is a God-ordained institution. Christ Himself addressed the question of the definition of marriage, when He said, "The two become one flesh." That is obviously impossible, for instance, for homosexual couples. The two cannot become one flesh.

So, from a Christian point of view, we know we're being asked to go down a road that is not consistent with what Christ has told us, and with God's will. So that kind of an issue, again, becomes a clear signal, "This is not a good idea."

I think you also want to look, though, at the range of issues, and I'm not saying these are equal, that you have to look at them, because as Christian people we also are enjoined to take care of our neighbors, to be concerned with, and concerned about, one another in a loving way, and if you are looking at somebody who shows no regard for people in that sense, whether we're talking about social welfare issues, economic issues, I think those things, too, should figure in, because obviously, you need to be somebody who's going to be following through on what is your relational obligations with other human beings.

So, I think that that kind of issue is clearly going to be important to people of Christian faith. They ought to be looking at them, but as I say, there are one or two issues right now, that you don't have to go much farther than those issues, and you already know that somebody is standing where God wouldn't want you to stand.

CALLER: Thanks for taking my call.

DR. KEYES: Oh, glad to do it. Thank you.

HOST: You're listening to a very special edition of the Scott Thomas Show on AM 1160, WYLL. Our guest host is Republican senatorial candidate, Dr. Alan Keyes. More of your phone calls at (847) 956-5042, right after this, on AM 1160, WYLL.

(commercial break)

Welcome back to the Scott Thomas Show on AM 116, WYLL. Our guest host is Dr. Alan Keyes. Your calls are welcome, at (847) 956-5042. And now, more with Republican senatorial candidate Dr. Alan Keyes.

DR. KEYES: Welcome back to the Scott Thomas Show. We're having a great conversations with everyone on the phone, and I'd like to remind you, though, that if you want more information about what I'm doing, you can get it at Keyes2004.com, K-E-Y-E-S-2-0-0-4.com.

Let's go to Jessie, in Moline. Welcome to the Scott Thomas Show, Jessie.

CALLER: Hello, how are you?

DR. KEYES: I'm doing very well, thank you.

CALLER: Good. I was just looking at the Internet, and you were in the Quad Cities at Black Hawk College, if I'm correct?

DR. KEYES: Yes.

CALLER: And, a young lady asked you, would Jesus own machine guns. And from what I got on the thing, on the web page, you said that, or you justified it with Peter having a sword, and I was just wondering, so, did you justify it? You think Jesus would be OK with owning and using a machine gun?

DR. KEYES: You know, see, that's a different question, isn't it? We start out with the question, "Would Jesus own a gun?" and all I did was cite the Scriptural equivalent of a gun. I mean, it's kind of unfair to ask that question of somebody who lived two thousand years ago, because they didn't have guns.

CALLER: Right. Correct.

DR. KEYES: What did they have? They had swords.

CALLER: Uh-huh.

DR. KEYES: And I was simply indicating, from what the Scripture tells us, Jesus and His disciples did have swords. So, the question, if you put it in a generic sense--"Would Jesus countenance the owning and carrying of a weapon?"-apparently, He did.

Now, when the particular use of the weapon occurred in that wonderful scene when Judas has betrayed Him, and Peter gets all overwrought and cuts off the ear, and so forth, I think we all understand that what's going on there is Christ looking at Peter and, basically, telling him, "No; that's not the way to do this, because what I'm doing is going to lead to a different understanding of life, a real understanding of life"--not the life that can be taken by the sword, see, because "he who lives by the sword dies by the sword," meaning to say, will have that physical death, but he who lives through Christ, and through the sacrifice He is going to make on the Cross, and through His resurrection, he will not experience that kind of death. And there's an object lesson in that scene that helps us to understand the significance of what Christ is about to do, in accordance with God's plan.

But the simple question of whether Christ would have anything whatsoever to do with weapons is, I think, pretty well answered in the Scripture, and it's also--what I said to the young lady was, that Christ also points us quite clearly, at other times, to a standard of our own hearts, not of the things around us. In other words, evil is not what falls on us, comes on us from without, He says, but what rises from within the heart of human beings.

And that is a stand I often take. You know, I think this notion that you see a gun on the table and, in and of itself, that gun is evil--that's actually a wrong notion. It's a very pagan notion. It acts as if an inanimate object can have a--I don't know--spirit, or some demonic force attached to it that we should be afraid of. Nah! That is not how a Christian thinks. A Christian understands that we have, before God, this great, wonderful gift of our moral will, and He gives us the choices between abiding by His will or not, and that it is really our hearts' determinations that then introduce into the world all these terrible consequences, not the kind of inanimate things that are in it.

So, I actually think that the whole gun control mentality is a throwback to a time when people might have regarded inanimate objects as if they had moral wills, but that is a kind of a mentality that, I think, is very alien to the Christian understanding.

CALLER: So you do think, as from what I've read, you do think that machine guns, that people who are capable of using machine guns, should own machine guns?

DR. KEYES: Well, actually, I was never asked that question, exactly.

CALLER: Oh, OK.

DR. KEYES: During one press conference, one of the reporters asked me whether I thought it was constitutional, should be constitutional, for people to own automatic weapons.

CALLER: Uh-huh.

DR. KEYES: And I simply responded to him that I didn't know whether he knew it or not, but it is constitutional for people to own automatic weapons. It is constitutional and legal, and if you go through certain hoops, procedurally, and follow certain regulations, you can, in fact, in America, as a private citizen, right this minute, own an automatic weapon. And he, apparently, they went and checked with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms, got the same answer that I had given them, and it turned out to be correct.

And then the next day--to show you how the media will try to sensationalize things--they had a headline, "Keyes: Machine Guns Constitutional," or, "Automatic Weapons Constitutional," as if I expressed that as an opinion, when in fact, all I had done was share a fact, and the fact is that, under the Second Amendment, it is constitutional, and under existing law, that Second Amendment right can be exercised, so long as you responsibly follow the proper procedures.

CALLER: So as, from a Christian point of view, you do think that, so you do justify the ownership of--

DR. KEYES: Well, Ma'am, I would have to say that, you know, we are right now, for instance, engaged in an effort to defend this country against terrorists.

CALLER: Uh-huh.

DR. KEYES: I don't think we would want to suggest, for instance, to our Christian men and women in uniform that there is something inherently wrong with their use of firearms to defend themselves in this country. I think, in fact, we would want to avoid that suggestion, especially given the fact that that suggestion might leave us--all of us--defenseless in the face of really awful evils, like the ones we saw in Russia.

So, I think that we have to be careful that we aren't saying things that we don't mean to say, when it comes to the right of self-defense, and sometimes, the need to exercise that right in defense of the innocent, as we are doing right now, in the opposition to terror.

Let's got to Ron, in Southside Chicago. Welcome. Are you there, Ron?

CALLLER: Can you hear me?

DR. KEYES: Yes, I can. Hi, how are you?

CALLER: Hey, Dr. Keyes, how are you?

DR. KEYES: Pretty good.

CALLER: OK. My question is regarding, let's go back a month and a half ago, you were at the Bud Billiken Day Parade, which I commend you on, and I read that you were treated rather rudely, and, you know, it just goes to the fact that I think that, as we all know, a lot of the black community, I mean, they vote, I mean, it strongly votes for, you know, Democrats. How can you garner enough of the vote, or how can you change some of the minds of a lot of the black community?

DR. KEYES: Well, see, I think, actually, the challenge may be less than folks think. Why? Because I think that there are a lot of people in the black community, even though they have voted for many years Democrat, right?

CALLER: Uh-huh.

DR. KEYES: Do you think that a lot, for instance, of the believers in the black community, the church-going folks who are there on Sundays, and Wednesdays, and other days of the week, praising God, and worshipping, and doing Bible study, and so forth--do you think that those kinds of folks are going to be embracing the stands that have been taken now by a lot of the Democrat leadership, on things like traditional marriage, for instance? I don't think so. When people ask me, "What's your plan, as you are doing for black voters?" I think to myself, "Well, my plan for black voters is actually my plan for all believers in Illinois," because I think there are people of conscience imprisoned right now within that Democratic machinery, and they've been giving their votes loyally, loyally, loyally, year after year, and meanwhile, their faith and conscience has been betrayed by the leadership of the Democrat Party in this state. And they are being asked to go to the polls and vote for things that are totally contrary to their faith and conscience.

CALLER: Yeah.

DR. KEYES: Well, I think that what one needs to do is to offer them an opportunity for something different, that they don't have to keep betraying their faith in order to be good citizens. They can be good citizens by supporting someone who is actually taking positions that correspond to their faith, and approaching issues, including the issues of our economic and social life, in a way that is actually grounded on an understanding that respects what we can learn from Scripture. And that's what I try to do. So, I think, I guess that would be my plan, in the sense that I think there are people of faith and conscience in every community--including, of course, the black community--and that one can offer them a chance to get out of the prison of conscience that they've been in politically, in this election.

CALLER: Uh-huh. Yeah, because it seems to me, and at my church, I've talked with some people, and it seems to me that the major stumbling block is they think that Republicans are against the economic issues of the black community, and then I ask them, I say, "Well, you know, I mean, if that's true, and if it isn't"--

DR. KEYES: Ron? Just hold on for a second. We've got to go to a break, and we'll be right back.

HOST: You're listening to a very special edition of the Scott Thomas Show on AM 1160, WYLL. Our guest host is Republican senatorial candidate, Dr. Alan Keyes. More of your phone calls at (847) 956-5042 right after this, on AM 1160, WYLL.

(commercial break)

Welcome back to the Scott Thomas Show on AM 1160, WYLL. Our guest host is Dr. Alan Keyes. You calls are welcome at (847) 956-5042. Dr. Keyes, when we went to break, Ron had one more question for you.

DR. KEYES: Yes, let's go back to Ron on the Southside. Are you there, Ron?

CALLER: OK, Dr. Keyes, OK. Yeah, my last question was, I think the major stumbling block for a lot of people in the black community is that they think that, you know, somehow, you are against the economic issues of them, so could you just explain how--I mean, I hear what you're saying, but, you know--

DR. KEYES: I know, and that's particularly because of the Republican label, right? I mean that people just have been taught to believe that somehow Republicans are against the economic progress for black people and so forth. The thing that I find ironic about that, Ron, and I wrote about this extensively, about ten years ago, in a book called Masters of the Dream, where I examined a lot of the government programs that were put in place by the liberals and socialists, like my opponent Barack Obama, and they claim that supporting these programs is a big sign that you want to help people, right?

CALLER: Uh-huh.

DR. KEYES: When it turns out that, when you examine the actual impact of the programs, they hurt enormously. They didn't help people. They broke up families. They led to skyrocketing rates of illegitimacy. They discouraged fathers from living in the home. They assaulted what had been the moral foundation of the black community, and the family foundation that is, in fact, the key to all economic success.

CALLER: Uh-huh.

DR. KEYES: So, in point of fact, though they pretended to care about people, and they say, "Well, we're spending a lot of money on these government programs. That means that we care about you"--when you actually look at the fruits, the fruits were bitter and terrible, and did not result in improvement for black Americans.

CALLER: Right.

DR. KEYES: And if you look at the actual situation in the black community in Chicago right now and in the south suburbs, who's gonna tell me that all the years of loyal, knee-jerk, votin' for the Democrat machine, have in fact resulted in great improvements for black Americans in the city of Chicago? Because if they try to tell me that, I will simply point out that, when you look at the distribution of economic opportunity in the Chicago area--

CALLER: Uh-huh.

DR. KEYES: --guess who's living in the areas that don't have the economic opportunity? Hmm? Hmm? Hmm? So, if things have been so great under the Democrat machine, why is it that black Americans in Chicago end up with the short end of the stick?

CALLER: Right.

DR. KEYES: It seems to me that people who have been so loyal, and who have been voting ninety and ninety-five percent for the Democrat machine, you would think that they would be living in areas that were, kind of, filled with wonderful schools, and with great roads, and with great job opportunities, housing and so forth and so on--when actually, you look around the area I'm living in, in Cal City and other areas, and you will find that the opportunities are limited, that people have to drive ninety minutes and two hours in order to get the job opportunities, because they're not in the community there, that, in point of fact, the schools have been allowed to decline and deteriorate. This is not, it seems to me, proof that being loyal to the Democrat machine has resulted in such great things for black Americans.

On the other hand, the kind of approaches that I have always advocated, which would give people greater control over their communities, greater control over their economic life, which would provide incentives for people to locate businesses in the communities where the jobs are needed, turning vacant lots into real businesses--these are the kinds of things that would produce fruits that would actually help people. Even though, when you think about it--and this is the difference. My approaches would facilitate banks, and businesses, and other people getting involved in the lives of folks, so that they can improve them. I might not get the credit for that. You understand what I'm saying? Because I wouldn't be able to stand up and say, "You're better off today because of this or that government program." No! You'd be better off because of your own efforts, because people have come in to work with you, because you would have real jobs, and real capital investment, and so forth. A lot of these people are trying to farm votes, and so they have got to take approaches that allow them to claim credit for every improvement in somebody's life. You understand what I'm saying?

CALLER: Uh-huh.

DR. KEYES: It's really a cynical, political ploy, and everybody knows that that's not the best way to provide economic opportunity.

CALLER: Right.

DR. KEYES: No, the socialist way is not the best way. The free enterprise way is the best way, because then you get real jobs. You get real opportunity. You get lasting improvement in your life, which you don't get through these politically-manipulated government programs.

CALLER: Yeah, I agree. Thanks a lot, Dr. Keyes.

DR. KEYES: Thank you. Let's go to Mary, in Wheaton.

CALLER: Hi, Alan.

DR. KEYES: Hi.

CALLER: It's a privilege to talk to you. I've been a fan of yours since I first heard you years ago on Focus on the Family.

DR. KEYES: Thank you.

CALLER: My question is, Alan, why are non-citizens of the United States allowed to vote? And I'm saying that because, when they come to register, they have to show no proof of citizenship. All they need is driver's license, picture ID. I think this is a crime. They can go into the Internet, "Are you a citizen?" and click, "Yes," and who knows?

DR. KEYES: Yeah. No, I think this is a travesty, and many of us have opposed these measures--which, by the way, have been promoted, once again, by a lot of the leadership in the Democrat Party.

CALLER: Uh-huh.

DR. KEYES: And you have to ask yourself, "Well, why would it be so important to them that people who are not citizens should be able to vote?" I really don't know. It seems to me that that is actually doing harm to the body of our citizens--right?

CALLER: Absolutely.

DR. KEYES: --who have abided by the law, who are operating within its parameters, including immigrants here, who have abided by the law and become citizens by the proper means. If we start extending all the privileges of life and citizenship to people who are not citizens and who are not here legally and all of that, then we're breaking down our own laws, right?

CALLER: Uh-huh.

DR. KEYES: And in breaking down those laws, we're creating a situation that will eventually damage our economy, damage our ability to deliver social services, damage our ability to maintain schools on an equitable basis. It doesn't make sense.

And that's why I believe that we have to enforce our immigration laws, and that we shouldn't be putting laws on the books that will extend to non-citizens the privileges of citizenship, because I think you are actually inviting people to violate the law when you do that--

CALLER: Right.

DR. KEYES: --and you're decreasing the respect for the law.

CALLER: I don't think we could go into any other country in the world, not being a citizen, and vote in their national elections. Do you?

DR. KEYES: I doubt it, and even some of the countries nearby us, like Mexico, who sometimes, the leaders there will get on their high horse and criticize America about this and that--do you realize that their policies on immigration and citizenship are a lot tougher than ours, and that they will actually peremptorily deport people whom they find to be in the country without proper papers and everything?

CALLER: Uh-huh.

DR. KEYES: Whereas, if you're in America and you're found to be in that condition, you can get a lawyer, and you can go to court and you can defend yourself.

CALLER: Yes.

DR. KEYES: You can actually make it, draw it out for a long time, if you know what you're doing.

CALLER: Yeah.

DR. KEYES: So, I think we ought to keep this in mind when we're listening to some of the criticism because they are, more often than not, a lot tougher than we are.

CALLER: Right.

DR. KEYES: Yeah.

CALLER: Well, I know I can't go to Canada and vote.

DR. KEYES: That's right. Mary, thank you for your call. Appreciate it very much. Let's go to Peggy in Chicago. Peggy?

CALLER: Hello, Dr. Keyes. I wanted to ask you--well, I actually wanted to say that there are people in America that are disabled and poor, they're on Medicare, Medicaid, and they are terribly worried. They are really to the point of panic, and there are people that are approaching sixty-five whom Alan Greenspan has put in a really white panic about, I mean, a really hysterical panic, about, "There isn't going to be any Medicare for you." They don't have the resources, and they are afraid. And the Democratic Party has said, you know, we will take care of you, and I'm thinking, well, do you have any plans to address those issues, or what is your position on that?

DR. KEYES: Well, first of all, I think everyone is in agreement, with respect to things like Social Security and Medicare, that we must keep the promises we've made, and that we will not allow a default on the expectations of people, particularly our elderly citizens, in this regard. I think that's stated and agreed upon, across party lines, by everyone.

The thing is, though, that in order to work that out practically, we're gonna have to pay the bills, and to pay the bills we have to take an approach that will help to bring health care costs down, so that we will have available the kind of resources that are needed to take care of the elderly, to take care of people who are needing long-term care, to take care of people facing catastrophic situations. And that's where I think we need an entirely different approach to the whole healthcare situation.

We, first of all, need to follow what President Bush was saying in his speech to the Republican National Convention. We need to look at things like medical savings accounts, that will empower individuals and families to play a better role in the healthcare field, by putting them in a position where they can actually monitor the relationship between price and quality, help to keep price down by not giving their patronage and services to inefficient healthcare providers, and things of that kind.

I also think that we need to be moving toward a system where we put the emphasis on health. I was saying to someone the other day that we actually ought to call it "the sickness-care sector," not the healthcare sector, because we actually put the emphasis on taking care of people after they're sick, when we need to put the emphasis on keeping people healthy--and that would include an emphasis on diet, on fitness, as a part of the universe that is covered by the kind of expenditures we're making on healthcare.

And that overall would help to introduce a system that reduces the incidence of a lot of the costly diseases--cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, other things like this--which we know can be drastically reduced with some changes in diet, and some changes in the fitness routines of our citizens.

By reducing the incidence of those costs, we will free up resources that could then be available in order to make sure we take care of those who are reaching that stage of life where more incidence of disease is inevitable. And I think that combination of approaches will help us, over the medium and long term, to deal with this problem, rather than just continually throwing money at a skyrocketing cost of healthcare services. We need to bring them down.

HOST: Our guest host is Republican senatorial candidate, Dr. Alan Keyes. You're listening to a very special edition of the Scott Thomas Show. More of your phone calls at (847) 956-5042. That's (847) 956-5042, right after this, on AM 1160, WYLL.

(commercial break)

Today, when you call the Scott Thomas Show, you're in for a treat. You'll be talking to Dr. Alan Keyes. Welcome back to the Scott Thomas Show on AM 1160, WYLL. I'm general manager Dave Santrella. Our guest host is Dr. Alan Keyes. Your calls are welcome, at (847) 956-5042. And now, more with Republican senatorial candidate, Dr. Alan Keyes.

DR. KEYES: Thank you. Welcome back. I just want to let everybody know, you can get more information about what I'm doing at K-E-Y-E-S-2-0-0-4.com, Keyes2004.com. Now, let's go back to the phones, and talk to Larry in Belleville. Larry, welcome.

CALLER: Thank you, Ambassador. It's a great pleasure to talk to you. I've been a great fan since your '96 run.

DR. KEYES: Thank you.

CALLER: I have a question for you, though. You've been talking about the great moral crisis of abortion, and I agree with you a hundred percent, but I think it goes farther than that. When we talk about contraception and easy access to it by unmarried couples and that, and I just want to know what you would do to, maybe, address that crisis as well as the abortion crisis.

DR. KEYES: Well, I think it's important to make the distinction, though, that except where you're talking about abortifacient contraception, they are not the same issue. The one, I think, is a fundamental violation of principle, because you're taking a human life and you are stepping away from our principle that we're all equal in these basic rights.

The other, I think, is an approach that has the effect of starting that process which removes the child from the center of our understanding of sexual relations, so that procreation is somehow deemphasized, and the first step along that path is, of course, a certain mentality of contraception. But, I think that the appropriate way to deal with that is to be in a positive way encouraging the alternative understanding, and that is something that can be done in our churches, and through our activities of faith, and through education, so that you are encouraging the right understanding, which is obviously not birth control, but self-control. Self-control, understood, is that ability to understand the right place for these important and sacred passions, and to put them in that right context, so that you will make a positive commitment to family life and to the future, rather than simply going down a road that is self-seeking, self-regarding, and pursuing pleasure for its own sake.

And that is something, I think, that then effectively neutralizes the contraceptive mentality. There are also alternatives, of course, when it comes to managing one's life in that regard, because you have Natural Family Planning, which has been shown to be very effective, which has a proper respect for the relationship between man and woman, and which is not aimed at rejecting God's plan for the family, but rather, cooperating with it.

And so, drawing on these resources, I think we can help to address and change hearts with respect to the contraceptive mentality. That is something I think appropriately goes on, though, in the arena where we can operate in our churches, and in our other ways of reaching out to one another. I don't think it's something that is necessarily appropriate for government legislation or coercion, even though I do think we ought to be cautious--very cautious--about these approaches where the government, now, is sponsoring putting these contraceptive devices in schools and things of this kind, because I think that we're basically setting the wrong standard when we go down that road, and we're encouraging people to think of this activity in a way that denatures it, when we ought to be encouraging them to think of it in the right context.

Larry, thank you. Appreciate that very much. And let's go to Carol in Pingree Grove?

CALLER: Yes!

DR. KEYES: Welcome.

CALLER: Hi. Dr. Keyes, Ambassador Keyes, I'm thrilled to have the opportunity to state to you. We are a Christian family, and we are actively supporting your candidacy. We have four registered voters in our household that support you. We just received literature from the campaign committee, and we're making voters aware of the issues in this election.

DR. KEYES: Good.

CALLER: My question is, could you tell us what the formats of the debates will be? Will you be able to directly question your opponent, or will you be limited to responding from questions by the moderators? And the reason I'm asking this is that we're aware of the existing bias for Barack Obama and against you.

DR. KEYES: Yeah.

CALLER: And I'm afraid, you know, the media will refer to you as a "right-wing extremist," but Obama is never referred to as a "left-wing extremist."

DR. KEYES: That's very true. I think the evident bias of the media has been clear, in my case, in the case of President Bush. I mean, these folks are going to great lengths now--including, apparently, the fabrication of fraudulent documents--to try to discredit people who are of Republican and conservative views.

I am not sure, to answer the question, what the format of the debates is going to be, and I think that, if you check at the website, Keyes2004.com, you'll probably, at some point, be able to get further information about that. I do know that they're gonna be three of them; one on the radio and two will be televised in October, and so we'll see how that ends up and where it goes.

Do we have time for one more question, or? No, we don't. Well, I just want to say how--

HOST: Dr. Keyes, we'll rejoin in just a few minutes. We'll have more of your phone calls with our guest host Republican senatorial candidate Dr. Alan Keyes, right after this on AM 1160, WYLL.

(commercial break)

And we have been dialoguing all day with Dr. Alan Keyes, and this is AM 1160, WYLL. We thank you for all the phone calls that have come in today for this show. In studio with Dr. Keyes and I is Mike Kell, from Family Harvest Christian Church, Pastor Mike Kell, I should say. We had a town hall meeting earlier today with the members of Family Harvest Church, and Mike, you might have a question or comment for Dr. Keyes.

MODERATOR: Just a quick comment. Dr. Keyes, thank you for being a Christian ambassador to the church and to our society, and the whole time you were speaking today, I just kept thinking, "salt and light," and you're a good example of that, of being "salt and light" to our community, and I think for Christians, that means to register to vote, and voting your conscience. And for pastors, I just have this one thing to say, that your influence is the most important factor, not just in an election year, but in the future of our family, which means the future of our society. So, thank you, Dr. Thomas, for your thoughts today.

HOST: Dr. Keyes, we are about--what are we?--forty-seven days away from the election today, is that the number, something like that? Give me, give our listeners, the step-by-step here. What are the things that we can be doing, in the next forty-some days prior to the election, the activities that we can be doing to have impact on this election?

DR. KEYES: Well, I think that the very, very first thing, and the one that's most important, is the one the pastor was just mentioning. People have to ask themselves a serious question. The first one I want to ask them is, "Are you registered to vote?" OK. Show of hands. Are you registered to vote? Because if you're not, then you're not part of that body that's gonna decide this election, and given that we have these really critical and fundamental issues of morality and conscience that will be decided by the folks who are being chosen during this election, I think it is not just a shame, I think it's a failure of duty and obligation for people of Christian conscience not to exercise their right, and to step into the arena as voters.

So, if you're not registered to vote, first step, register. Second step, encourage everyone you know to register. Be unabashed, particularly in your church community, about asking people, "Are you registered to vote?", about sharing with them your own sense of how important it is, right now, that we mobilize the constituency of conscience and have people involved in this political process right now.

And then, of course, there is the fact that you've gotta vote. And you've got to vote on the basis of an informed and discerning Christian judgment. That's what I would say. You need to get the information. You need to know where people stand. You need to look at how folks have operated on these fundamental issues like abortion and marriage and what kind of an approach one takes to the great issues of social welfare.

And you need, then, to decide what corresponds to the requirements of your Christ-led life. See, and that's what they don't want us to think about. They want us to act like Christ shouldn't lead us in the voting booth, and He shouldn't lead us everywhere. So, those would be the steps, I think. You've got to register. You've got to vote. You've got to inform yourself in a way that allows you to make judgments about candidates based upon your Christ-led conscience, and if you want more information about what I'm doing, you can get it at Keyes2004.com, K-E-Y-E-S-2004.com, and I think it's really important to pursue that kind of information, whether it's from my website or other sources because, without that knowledge, you're not going to be able to make the discerning judgment.

And I would finally say that, as in all of these things, we need to be praying over it and seeking guidance in the Word of God, to give us a sense of how we should direct ourselves.

HOST: Is there a single resource that I could go to as a voter, or any of my listeners could go to as a voter, that would help us be educated on those issues, and where the candidates stand on those issues?

DR. KEYES: Well, one of the reasons we give out the website is that we have not only stuff about me, but we have links to important pro-life organizations, links to important organizations that deal with the issue of traditional family and how it can be defended, and so I think, if they visit the website at Keyes2004.com, they will find that they are also directed to resources that will give them guidance on other important issues.

HOST: Dr. Keyes, we thank you so much for being a part of today's program. This has been a very special edition of the Scott Thomas Show on AM 1160, WYLL. Do you have a final comment or question, Pastor Mike?

MODERATOR: Yes, just one quick question, Dr. Keyes, is how can we mobilize people, as a pastor, to get people to get people to register and vote?

DR. KEYES: Well, I think the most important thing to remember is that you can actually do that in the church.

MODERATOR: In the church.

DR. KEYES: In the church itself. You can set up registration tables, and people, as they're coming in and out of church, can be encouraged to register. Some people don't realize that that's very acceptable, it's perfectly allowed, you're putting yourself in no danger of the law if you are simply encouraging people to register--and that is something I think pastors can do, in a leadership way, to lead people to take an active citizen role.

HOST: Thanks to our moderator, Pastor Mike Kell, associate pastor of Family Harvest Church and, of course, a special thanks to Illinois Republican senatorial candidate, Dr. Alan Keyes. This is AM 1160, WYLL and a special edition of the Scott Thomas Show. Good evening, everybody.


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