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Radio interview
Alan Keyes discusses the 2008 election on Faith2Action with Janet Folger
Alan Keyes
April 4, 2007

JANET FOLGER, HOST: Good afternoon. If you're sick of talking and you're tired of losing battles we should win, ground that we should be gaining, well, you are in the right place. We are talking to one of the great men of faith, men of action. We have joining us today Ambassador Alan Keyes, founder of RenewAmerica. He has also run for president, and has been called the most articulate man in America. We're glad to have you back, Dr. Keyes.

ALAN KEYES: I'm glad to be here. Thank you.

FOLGER: You know what, some folks, I know, are lined up to talk to you. I'm gonna open up the lines right away. It's not something I normally do, but the issues that affect us--and I know you're coming out of a cave, writing a book, you've got a new book coming out. What's it called, again? The Theology of Liberty?

KEYES: Well, its tentative title is The Theology of Liberty.

FOLGER: Well, I'm anxious to take a look at that. We'll have you on the show again to talk about it, but there's a lot going on in the news. You've got Nancy Pelosi going to Syria, and the president not too pleased with all of that. You've got the British hostages being released in Iran, and you've got what's happening in the presidential race--also want to find out your plans are, in that regard, if you plan on running. If you have any other questions, you can dial this number, (800) 733-9829. As we talk with Dr. Alan Keyes today, you can join us at (800) 733-9829.

Let's start with the presidential race. First on everybody's list. We have some votes for you. You made the list in the straw poll we conducted on the weekly WorldNetDaily column, and what are your plans, sir? Are you looking to run again?

KEYES: Well, I have been focusing on my book. I haven't been really thinking about things along those lines--though, like everybody else, I've been watching the development of the race thus far, and I have to tell you that, both myself and as I go around the country, I find a lot of people who are looking at what's going on, especially on the Republican side, and aren't at all happy.

I think, in various ways, I see no one who can actually stand up there and capably represent the things that I think are vitally important to the survival of our system of constitutional self-government right now, and that's what's at stake. And part of the problem, I guess, is I don't hear anybody articulating that [concern].

People have their issues--they have their ways of approaching things, in various senses--but nobody seems to grasp what's actually happening to us, and that is that the people of this country are losing this rare, historic opportunity that we've had since the country was founded to govern ourselves.

It's going down the drain, both in terms of moral principle, and now in terms of constitutional fact, as well as our national security situation, our border situation--it all adds up to the destruction of the American republic, and it's happening right now. It's not something that's going to happen. It's happening all around us.

FOLGER: Would you say that the reason we're losing our ability to govern ourselves, primarily, is because of the activist judges coming in, and tyrannical rule?

KEYES: No, the activist judges are also a symptom. We are losing self-government because we are destroying its moral foundation.

It's clear and simple. As a people, both through the judges and through our willingness to take certain approaches to our understanding of politics and human beings, we are in fact turning our backs on the moral principles the country is based on, and the whole understanding of the universe that those principles require, starting with the fact that the universe is created by God--not evolved by, in some mindless way--and as a result, it cannot be understood, in totality, by the mechanisms of science. They can understand certain things, but when it comes to human behavior, human liberty, and the difference between right and wrong, science is of no help to us, and we must rely upon those forms of knowledge which transcend it.

That's fundamental. A civilization that has abandoned its most fundamental premises cannot hope to survive. And as a people, for instance, the simple premise of the country is founded, "We are all created equal, and endowed by our Creator with certain unalienable rights." It's profound. It implies, by the way, that we acknowledge, as a people, the existence and authority of God

And yet, in every quarter--the courts, the schools, the universities, the media--you would be ridiculed if you actually, consistently maintain the truth of that principle, which of course I do.

But without it, we have no inalienable rights. There is no need for government by consent. The whole way of life and system of government that allows us as a people to govern ourselves is without foundation. And of course, having abandoned its moral foundation, we lose confidence in it and in ourselves, and the end result is that the whole thing is being thrown aside by elites who no longer believe in it, but are simply using and manipulating it in order to get power.

FOLGER: Let's take a look at how that relates, though, to the candidates who are running. By the way, this just in. Although Senator Hillary Clinton has been breaking fundraising records with her 26 million reported thus far, this just in from New Hampshire, a poll that shows that Edwards has moved closer, with Hillary Clinton dropping from 35% to 27%. John Edwards has climbed from 16% to 21%. They're now six points apart.

Looking over on the Republican side, a lot of folks are doing something that bothers me a whole lot--as I wrote about in yesterday's World Net Daily column--they're really clamoring to the front runners. Rudy Giuliani, who is neither pro-life nor is he pro-family, and Mitt Romney, who is striving to appear to be a conservative, and yet, when he goes on Larry King, the first thing he does is bash General Pace, who has stood for the mainstream issues of morality, and Mitt Romney says, hey, he's not going to change the "don't ask, don't tell" policy right now, which, you know, if he's going to change it later, don't ask. We won't necessarily get an answer from him. I don't expect him to tell us.

What are your views on all the folks who are clamoring to the early front runners, saying, "We've got to back one of these guys. Otherwise, we're gonna be facing a Clinton administration again." What do you say to that?

KEYES: Well, the principle of my political life and choice is that evil may triumph, but not with my help.

FOLGER: Hmm.

KEYES: And that means that the whole notion that you vote for the lesser of evils is evil. It's an evil notion, and anybody who subscribes to it is gonna have a hard time facing the Lord. And I'll say that to anybody who's willing to ask. They really think that it's gonna make any difference to God Almighty, when it comes down to it, that they supported evil because, according to them, it was the only choice.

There's always another choice, and that choice is always to follow the right path as exemplified by Our Lord and Our Father God. You can always do that. You don't have to go out and commit murder in order to live, or steal and rob and loot because you don't have any money. All these excuses people give for their wickedness, because they "had no choice." We always have the choice, and that choice, especially from the point of view of people of faith, can never be the lesser of evils.

I'd like somebody to point out to me one example in the witness that has been borne to the life of Christ, where He chose the lesser of evils. I cannot find it. I've scoured Scripture for it, and it ain't there.

FOLGER: Good point. Well said, although I do think that there are a lot of people who sit on their hands now, during the primary process, and they want to have a write-in, or a third-party candidate, and I think the time to get involved is right now, because this is the best chance we have of getting a godly leader, is to support somebody who supports our values, supports what the Bible has to say, right now. Would you agree with that?

KEYES: Oh, I certainly agree with that. But one of the things that bothers me at the moment about people is that they have actually taken the media's definition of our politics and made it their own. And the media presents politics as a bunch of ambitious people tapping themselves for office, and then running out there and saying, "I want it desperately. I want it badly. I'm the one whom you should choose."

You know, in a system of self-government, the better way is for people to consider who's actually got what we need right now. And whether that person is running or not running, you go to them and say, "You must stand forward and do your duty." And that actually, by the way, in both form and sometimes in substance, was the way our politics was conducted through the early part of the twentieth century. As a matter of fact, it was considered bad form for candidates to go out and campaign for themselves. The whole idea was that people at the grassroots would organize, that they'd agree amongst themselves as to who could really represent what they thought was best for the country, and they would promote that person, who would then have to give a yea or nay as to whether or not they were going to accept the support that these people were offering.

Americans have become passive and lazy. They're acting like they're going to horse races instead of an election booth, and that they're trying to pick who the winner's gonna be. There's no payoff, except destruction and death, when we choose to back somebody because they're the frontrunner, even though they stand for everything that will destroy this country.

And, sad to say, on the Republican side, we have people like this. Rudy Giuliani may or may not be an effective administrator, and all these things. He did a good job with certain aspects of things in New York. But the truth of the matter is, if you stand for abortion, if you're standing for the destruction of the moral foundation and understanding of family, then you're going to destroy America.

And who can justify voting for somebody who's going to destroy your country, because they wear a Republican label rather than a Democrat label? It doesn't matter a bit. The destruction will be the same.

And yet, we're not being honest with ourselves. I, myself, am not willing to be the pawn or tool of a bunch of elite interests who want to hold onto power that they use for their own ambition, rather than to use my choice, and vote, and purpose, and life to do what is going to redound to the best future for this country, and that can only be produced if our way of life is preserved on its right moral foundations.

I think people would surprise themselves, if they'd stop all this calculating, and simply ponder for a minute what it is that the Lord and Our Father God want us to do, what's right, and just do it--and let the Lord take care of the consequences.

When we're encouraged to do all this calculating, it reminds me of Sarah. Faced with childlessness, she wouldn't rely on God, so she came up with schemes of her own that, as the Bible suggests, turned out badly. And then, it turns out that it is within the power of God to do what He wills.

So, if He wills that this country is gonna survive, and it's gonna survive on a decent basis, that's gonna be in His power. It's for us to accord our will to His, and to do what we can to contribute to the best outcome.

When Christian people and professed people of faith, and all these so-called leaders start to act that way, and stop calculating, and stop trying to bargain for their seat at the table, then I think we're going to see a result that leaves room for God's power and miracle.

FOLGER: That's well said. It's hard to get a word in, because every word you say is just very, very valuable. Some folks want to talk with you, though, and ask you some questions.

KEYES: Sure.

FOLGER: And let's let them do that. The number to join them is (800) 733-9829. Let's go first to Frank in Missouri. Hey, Frank. Welcome.

CALLER: Hi. Dr. Keyes, I have enjoyed hearing you speak in person and on the radio for many years now. I have a question that's been bothering me, and you kind of brought it to a head, here. If, after having done all we can in the primaries to support a Christian candidate, and we finally come to Hillary Clinton vs. Rudy Giuliani or Mitt Romney, do we vote for the lesser of two evils at that point, or not vote?

KEYES: Of course not. Let me ask you a question, or I'll ask all people of Christian conscience out there: "You're down to your last crust of bread, and the only way that you can get some money to feed yourself is to go out and commit murder, or make a pornographic movie. Do you do it?"

CALLER: Of course not.

KEYES: Of course not! You'd rather die. That's something we've forgotten, as Christian people. We think this is some kind of game, and we get to choose our comfort. Christ died on the Cross. Right?

CALLER: With all due respect, though, Dr.--

KEYES: And that means that--well, let me finish, though, because the thought that I'm expressing is very simple. You follow what is right, and you leave the rest to God. We're faithless people, because we think that only by our acting and the choices human beings make will things turn out one way or another. It's by God's will. It may be God's will to save America. But let me ask you a question. What if it's not?

If it's not God's will that this country--which has offended deeply, by the way--the blood of the innocent cries out from the ground of America. By the tens of millions, it cries. We are a people guilty of grave wickedness, and if God's judgment is coming against us, we can see why.

But the question is, if He has a will to save the country, it will be saved. If He doesn't, it won't. But where should we stand? Should we stand trying to save it, when He doesn't want to, or should we stand trying to do what's right?

FOLGER: Ambassador Alan Keyes is our guest. Frank, hang on. We'll be right back.

[break]

FOLGER: Turning people of faith into people of action. This is your chance to get into the discussion with our special guest, Ambassador Alan Keyes, founder of RenewAmerica. His motto, one I've just written down: "Evil may triumph, but not with my help." If you'd like to be in on this conversation, the number to dial is 1-800-733-9829. 1-800-733-9829. Sorry, we were hoping our last caller would hang on.

KEYES: Yes.

FOLGER: I thought he had some follow-up, but it looks like we have lost the call. If you'd like to call us back, the number, you got it. 1-800-733-9829. Let's just jump to the next one, if we can. Jeremy has been waiting in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Hey, Jeremy.

CALLER: Hey, I'm just calling to ask, why are we so afraid of a Clinton White House? I mean, isn't helping the poor, providing health care for the poor, a Christian value? And won't that help reduce the number of abortions? I mean, criminalizing abortion isn't the only way to be pro-life.

KEYES: Well, let me ask you a question, though, because I think sometimes people misunderstand the meaning of Christian charity, and they think that Christian charity means "helping people take care of their bodies." Is that what it means? So that, if we make everybody comfortable in a physical way, we've achieved a charitable result?

That's actually not Christian charity. Christian charity is to show true love for another, and that means that you share the truth of God and our salvation by Jesus Christ with everyone. And doing good deeds--works of corporal mercy, as they are called--must be in the service of spreading that Gospel by the example of our love, but the example of our love is not intended to produce a material result, but to open the heart to a spiritual reality.

So, the mere fact that somebody is helping take care of people's bodies does not help, if in other respects they stand for lies that deny the existence of God, that deny the justice of God, that deny the authority of God, that deny our salvation through God's love in Jesus Christ. If people are behaving in a way that contradicts the fundamental tenets of God's will as revealed through the Scripture and His law in our nature, then it doesn't matter if they're out saving people's bodies. They're destroying their true lives.

And that's, unhappily, the position in which the Democrats now find themselves. They put on the mask of compassion and concern, and meanwhile they adopt policy steps that have, through the destruction of our moral fiber, utterly destroyed the capacity of people to do for and take care of themselves.

That has been the end result of our government welfare system that has systematically--for instance, in the black community--destroyed the family structure. They are now standing for homosexual marriage and other things that will, again, assault the sense of obligation and responsibility that must be at the heart and basis of family life. So, pretending all kinds of good desires for people, they actually champion those principles of moral evil that will destroy them, and destroy our society along with them.

So, no. I don't think that proves anything, because then you're willing to take the tradeoff they offer. They'll take care of our bodies, so long as we destroy both our own souls and that of our nation. And Christ warned us against accepting that bargain. There ain't nothing Christian about it.

FOLGER: Jeremy, I'm going to give you one quick follow-up.

CALLER: Okay. Um, aren't Republicans susceptible to the same judgment, that by wanting to criminalize abortion but not reduce the amount of abortions in the meantime--I mean, aren't they susceptible to the same judgment?

KEYES: I don't understand what you mean when you say they have criminalized abortion. God criminalized abortion--the same God who gave us our inalienable rights. "We are endowed by our Creator with certain unalienable rights, among them life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness." That's God's dictate.

And if you say that it's okay to disregard God's commandment with respect to life and the right that flows from His will with respect to life when it comes to the child in the womb, why not when it comes to your life? Why not disregard His authority when it comes to other inalienable rights, including those that require government by consent, and due process in courts of law? If God's authority means nothing when it comes to the life of that child in the womb, then why does it mean anything when it comes to any of our other claims to rights and decency?

This is the problem. You talk as if it's some arbitrary decision on the part of Republicans. No. The principle on which our whole way of life is based contradicts the so-called "right" to abortion, so we can either have that "right" and abandon the principle of our country, or we can hold on to the country's principle.

I'm not saying that. Republicans aren't saying that. That's a logical fact, and in order to deal with it, you have to tell me I'm wrong, that the country does not in fact require that we respect these basic and inalienable rights, that they are fictions invented by human will, and that when human beings change their minds, those rights disappear.

But if that's the case with the child in the womb, then I suppose it's the case with people we want to enslave, too, so we can turn our backs on that, and if we get enough people behind us, we could restore slavery, and we wouldn't any longer have the argument that it was a contradiction of the most fundamental, God-given right, to enslave other human beings.

See, you can't have it all ways. And what we're doing right now, we want to preserve rights insofar as we get to exercise them, but then we want to disregard them when it's convenient for us, and when we want to have abortions and other stuff.

You can't do it that way. The principle is either true, or it's not. And if it's true, then it restricts our conduct, and we ought to respect it.

FOLGER: Glad you called, Jeremy. Let's go to Dale, who's on a cell phone in West Virginia. How are you listening to us, Dale?

CALLER: Listening to you on 94.5 in Ohio.

FOLGER: Oh, great.

CALLER: Anyhow, my comment for Ambassador Keyes is I am driving down the highway laughing, and patting on the steering wheel, and rejoicing, because no one else is saying these things! The Christians in this country have been deceived into thinking they have to bargain away what's true, and what's right, and play the game--and I'm gonna hang up after my comment, but I'm rejoicing to hear someone telling the truth. Thank you, Dr. Keyes.

KEYES: Well, thank you. Appreciate it.

FOLGER: Appreciate the call, Dale. (800) 733-9829. Got some open lines. Let's go next to Ron in Cashton, Wisconsin. Hey, Ron.

CALLER: Yes. I have two comments for Mr. Keyes. Are you on?

FOLGER: Yeah, go ahead.

CALLER: Yes. One is, I don't think we can ever hope to have the perfect president in office, whether he be a devout Christian or a non-Christian. Moses was a man of God's choosing. He failed. David, a man after God's heart. He failed. And I think we're, sometimes, asking for a perfect person for office. I'd like his comments on that.

And then, my second point is, it's absurd to me to think that a Christian, even though he may be devout and very capable, could run for the presidency if he's never had any other office and proven himself. I think we need to start encouraging good people, good Christians, to run for lower offices and get into politics and establish a reputation and do something at whatever level, and then maybe they'll work up to the possibility of getting elected--

FOLGER: Appreciate your comment. I think you've made the point. Let's let Dr. Keyes respond. Thanks, Ron.

KEYES: Well, I think the fact that we're not gonna find somebody perfect--which is true. We all fall short of the glory. But that doesn't mean that we shouldn't look around for the best person available, to stand for those things which are right.

The second point, about people with experience in government, I think experience in some sense with politics and government is a good thing, but on the other hand, if that experience has led to the erosion of conviction, if it has led to innumerable compromises of principle, if it has led, as it does in our politics now, to placing ambition ahead of everything else, then we shouldn't be looking for people with that kind of experience, because that kind of experience is harmful, and it's going to be hurtful to the country, that we would elect leaders of that kind.

We'd never want to put ourselves in a position where we're going to exclude, let's say, an Abraham Lincoln because we've adopted a criteria that requires that people be professional pols rather than ordinary citizens. Sometimes, out of the body of our citizens will come the kind of understanding and wisdom we need, rather than out of the body of those who have dedicated themselves, over the last 40, 50 years, to a false understanding of what our politics is all about.

And I'm afraid a lot of our politicians have surrendered to that false understanding--the belief that it's all interest group stuff, that it doesn't involve principle, that morality should be no part of it, and so forth and so on. You hear that kind of stuff from Republicans as well as Democrats, and that, I think, is a serious problem.

So, what people ought to be considering is the question of whether or not, first of all, people are standing for the right things, and have done so--not just with their mouths, but with their careers. And this is one of the questions I ask myself when I look at some of these people who are offering themselves for our choice, standing forward like Mitt Romney, to say he's all pro-life and stuff, and I'm saying, "I've been fighting in the pro-life trenches for a long time, but never saw him there. As a matter of fact, saw him on the other side." He suddenly shows up, and it's okay to be converted, but even St. Paul wasn't offered leadership in the Christian community the moment he came off the road to Damascus. It took, in fact, quite a lot of time and a sacrifice that nearly cost him his life, so that people could see by deeds and fruits, not just by words, that he had in fact been transformed.

So I think these Johnny-come-latelies who show up saying, "I'm now mouthing the words you all want to hear"--we live in a time when they can take polls and focus groups and then come up with those words. That doesn't prove a thing. And I think I'm looking for somebody who stands forward and says, "Here are my wounds. I got this wound in the battle we fought for life at this time. I got this wound in the battle we fought against embryonic stem cell research. I got these wounds and made these sacrifices in the battle we had to fight against homosexual marriage in this place, and that." And I look at the candidates who are now on offer, and guess what? I don't see wounds on any of them.

FOLGER: By the way, we are offering now a DVD of your speech where you and I spoke at Mount Rushmore, and Dr. Dobson and Rick Scarborough and others. That is available. In fact, I'll have to get you a copy of this. We talked during the break, because you've been there--you've been in the battle, and there's no question about that.

Schmitty, you've been waiting in Kenosha. Welcome.

CALLER: Dr. Keyes, first of all, what an honor to speak with you. And Janet, I gotta tell ya, I love it when you hear a brother in the Lord telling it like it is like this to people.

FOLGER: Yeah, I was feeling sorry for our friend in Fort Lauderdale, but yeah, we welcome all calls, don't we? You can't have a better guest to take on any hostility than this man, but go ahead.

CALLER: The problem with the truth that Dr. Keyes dispenses is it forces an apathetic, reluctant, lukewarm listener--it causes him to have to take some kind of action. And what we need in America today is somebody to wake the church up, wake Christian folk up and get us to realize that the cost of freedom is shed blood. It began with Jesus on the cross for us. And to preserve our liberty, we're going have to answer our call to servant-hood and sacrifice and remember the second commandment to put others before ourselves.

FOLGER: Well said. Dr. Keyes, I'll let you respond.

KEYES: I think that that's entirely true. We have come into a period when the profession of Christian faith must again be sacrificial--when we must realize that Good Friday precedes resurrection, and we're called to walk in Christ's footsteps on both days. And He calls us to salvation, but as witnesses of His truth, He also calls us a sacrificial dedication to His Father's will, and that includes in our vocation as citizens.

FOLGER: Well said. Dr. Alan Keyes is our guest. The lines are pretty full, but there may be one open now, at (800) 733-9829.

Ah, by the way, we're going to be talking about one of the things we can do. This Thursday has been declared a day of fasting for our country, fasting for the lost, who will be attending Easter services. We also was to get to you take, Dr. Keyes, on the treason, perhaps, with Rosie O'Donnell.

[break]

FOLGER: Dr. Alan Keyes is our guest--a man of faith, a man action, maybe a man who will run for president again. He's contemplating it. We're going to be taking your calls. The lines are jammed right now, but before we go to those lines, I want to just reiterate the announcement as Pastor Bob Coy has asked for this spiritual renewal. We need God in our country. I don't see in the list of candidates somebody who has risen to the top. I do not clearly see who God's pick is at this moment. A lot of people are asking me. Well, there's my answer: I think that we need to follow what God says as we humble ourselves and repent. We need to fast and pray, and this Thursday, I'd ask you to consider joining us in a fast. I'd love to see everyone in America joined by giving up a meal, giving up a television program, something where you can take that time and cry out to God, because we desperately need Him.

Before we go to those lines, Dr. Keyes, I want to get your take on the latest in the news. I mentioned Rosie O'Donnell, who has said that the captured Brits were a hoax to provoke war. That we in America twisted that and have used it as an excuse to attack Iran. And then, meanwhile, you've got Nancy Pelosi who is greeted in Syria with open arms, which might very well advertise American disunity in the terrorists' sponsoring nation. And I want to get your take on what many are calling treason.

KEYES: Well, I think what is clear from the behavior of the Democrats is that they regard the Constitution as a scrap of paper to be trampled underfoot whenever it serves their political turn.

The Founders gave us a single executive who would be our commander-in-chief, who would confront the world in foreign policy terms, because they knew that a nation will be torn apart if it has several heads when it confronts the rest of the world--if it can be picked apart by people who can play Americans off against one another so that we don't have consistent policy. That was debated during the Constitutional Convention, and the idea of a plural executive, in which you have people able to run off and do their own thing in military security and foreign policy, was rejected.

Now, what Nancy Pelosi is doing, in other words, is completely violating the tenets of the separation of powers and offering opportunities for our most deadly enemies to then believe that they'll be able to set Americans off against each other so they can get away with continuing their murderous behavior. And I think that that is so dangerous to the Constitution and to our national security that Americans need to wake up and call the Democrats to account. They don't have the right to put the security of this country on the table in play as a pawn of their political ambitions, and they ought to stop.

FOLGER: What do you say about Rosie O'Donnell, certainly not an elected official, but one who's outspoken against America. Any comments on that?

KEYES: Well, I don't know. We have had amongst these people in the Hollywood set all these folks who have been borderline traitors for the longest time. We can remember Jane Fonda running around with the people in North Vietnam, and so forth and so on. I think that we live in a country where people have freedom of speech. If they want to blather on in insane and illogical ways, they can do so. My worry is, however, when folks start to take them seriously, and then give them credibility in our politics and elsewhere, that could lead to disastrous results.

So, I think we have to be warned against letting these people influence our understanding of our policies or ourselves. And that will be a sufficient response to the danger that they pose.

FOLGER: Do you think ABC should fire her?

KEYES: I'm not even going to comment on ABC. These media networks have their own agenda--all bad for America. I think ABC actually ought to efface itself from existence and let something decent take its place. And I think that of most media, so the fact that they're not going to fire Rosie O'Donnell or do this or that doesn't surprise me, because I haven't seen much worthwhile coming out of them in a couple of decades, including the fact that the news programs now are an intolerable--intolerable--combination of silly entertainment and pure propaganda.

FOLGER: Well said. Michael in Oconomowoc. Welcome.

CALLER: Hi, Janet. You know, we do so much fighting on the front here with Faith 2 Action, making phone call after phone call for every issue that is against God's will. Why don't we all get off our tails and support this guy, and you know, stop writin' a book and get you out in a presidency campaign?

FOLGER: Thanks for the call, Michael. Dr. Keyes.

KEYES: Well, I think that I have felt over course of time--and trying to finish this book was terribly important. It's called The Theology of Freedom, and it's about the very things you're talking about. I aim to show in the book and to get people to think hard about the fact that there is a biblical foundation for our constitutional system and that when we depart from the truths and the understanding of, say, natural law and natural rights that are derived from that Biblical understanding, we depart from the only foundation that can keep this republic alive.

My aim in doing this is to try to get Christians to wake up, to realize that there is no secular basis for maintaining this republic--that we must witness to and represent with our votes our understanding of the right basis which includes reverence and respect for God. We have the right to do that. We have the obligation to do that. And we shouldn't be talked out of it by these people who are trying to establish state atheism as the religion of America, so that they can, in effect, destroy the argument that actually gives the people the right to govern themselves.

FOLGER: Alan, I want to ask you a question, and it's a tough question, and we're friends. We've been friends for a long time, and I look and see that, you know, you're clearly the most articulate guy on our side, and probably in the country, as Dr. Dobson said when we spoke at Mount Rushmore. You've won every presidential debate that you've been in. But, Dr. Keyes, maybe it was the previous couple of calls ago that said, "Hey, you know, but maybe we need somebody--if you got somebody who has run for office before that gives you the ability to get the numbers." You've won the debates, you're right on the issues. How come we can't see that reflected in the votes?

KEYES: Well, I guess in some respects I've always chosen the harder path. Standing up in 1996, I was an unknown, simply articulating some known truths that then garnered support and enthusiasm that helped us to put together a grassroots campaign with very little money. When we ran again in 2000--faced again with an uphill battle also, by the way, with a strategy on the part of the other side that seeks to make sure that our candidates in the Republican Party will be chosen by money, not by the grassroots.

They're doing it again. You've noticed they've moved up the big primaries to February, so that in point of fact they could be more easily picked off by big money, rather than giving the time for people to develop a good grassroots effort that can promise success.

So, in a lot of ways there's been a combination of manipulation of the process and other things that have prevented people of good heart and conscience from coalescing--including, by the way, the fact that a lot of the leaders who claim to be speaking for people of conscience actually then spend their time calculating their own political advantage, and won't simply stand up and support what they know to be right.

That's why I deeply believe, now, that the grassroots people of the country, consulting with their own conscience, will stand up and say, "This is the one who ought to be standing forward. Kick his butt and get him in there." And I think that's the only way we're going to see it happen. And until that happens, it's not entirely clear to me that standing up and joining in this parade of vain ambition is worth anything.

Somebody the other day was talking to me, and they said, "You know, my problem with you is that you don't seem to want to be president. You don't have the burning desire." I looked at him and I said, "You know, somebody who wakes up every day and can't live without the thought of some ambition and some office, they should never be in those offices."

When are we going to wake up to this?

It is only people who understand that there's something more important than their own success who can serve the country right now. That's why I went into Illinois, because I had told people time and again that we can't just bear witness when it's to our advantage, when we think we can win, when we're gonna get something out of it.

When it's clear that we might be crushed, that we're likely to be crushed, that's when it's most important that we stand up to bear witness to God's truth.

When it's clear that we're going to be crucified, just the way our Lord was crucified, that's when we've got to walk in His footsteps and make it clear that we're Christians just like the Christians who martyred themselves in the early days of Christianity.

Have we lost all of that? Is it all matter to us now of the comfort and security and material good that can come from faith because God blesses us? Or are we going to be like Job, and when we're covered with sores and everything is lost, still be willing to say that "the judgments of the Lord are true and righteous all together"? (Psalms 19:9) "The Lord giveth, and the Lord taketh away"? (Job 1:21)

That's the kind of faith I think we've got to see, and that's the kind of life we've got to lead.

So, I think we need to be looking for people. If we want leaders, then it had best be leaders who have walked that walk--and since they're willing to stand in the face of defeat, we might not always find them victorious. When are we going to wake up to this?

FOLGER: Let's go back to the phones. A whole bunch of questions I have for you, but people have been waiting for a long time, like Keon in Miami on the cell phone. Hey, there.

CALLER: Yes, hello. Dr. Keyes, a pleasure and an honor. I have never heard anybody articulate these issues the way you do, and I'm so sorry, sir, that when you ran for president, we were too blind and wretched to see the truth that you were telling us, especially in the African-American community. While we're sitting there calling people like you and Michael Steele "oreo" and all these kind of silly and stupid names, African-American babies are dying by the thousands every single week--and I've never heard anybody articulate it as well as you do. I mean, we still have a few African-American individuals that are standing up for life, but not the way you do it.

And I almost wish--I wish that I did have a million and a half dollars, so I could start a radio station. I'll never be able to articulate it as well as you do, but I wish I could be literally used as a channel to put your message out there--and yours, too, Janet.

Every day here in south Florida, we're so apathetic, and we're so ignorant to the issues. And there's a radio station with a 100,000 watts of broadcast power, but they will not touch these issues. And it just infuriates me. I don't mean to be yelling and raising my voice, but I almost wish that I was the one with the money, and I could get your message out, because the African-American church--well, really all churches--need to hear this. And I'm hoping, Dr. Keyes, that if you ever decide to run for president again . . . I mean, the three guys that I'm looking at--Tom Tancredo, Duncan Hunter, and this guy Fred Thompson?--they come partially close, but the way you do it, sir, is unmatched.

FOLGER: Let's let Alan respond, Keon. We're just running close on time. Dr. Keyes?

KEYES: Well, I think that he touches on an area that obviously is close to my heart and has broken my heart over the years.

As I have pointed out in my book Masters of the Dream many years ago, the situation of the Black community, where you've had leadership who have surrendered the moral principles in terms of which people fought for civil rights, but also in terms of which people survived the rigors of slavery and the horrors of discrimination and other things. It was through a firm a belief in Almighty God, a profession of Christian faith, and a willingness to not give up, to hold on to God through everything that helped people maintain their decency, after the Civil War, to put their families back together, and so forth.

It wasn't through mindless materialism and the belief that it's only about money and pleasure and things. Quite the contrary. If Black people hadn't been clear about the spiritual values, the deprivation in a material sense would have destroyed them, but it never did--and so their spirits survived to fight back in the name of rights and liberty.

And that's the lesson I have drawn from my heritage that I think is every day betrayed by a Black leadership that is selling itself for the sake of a mess of a contemporary porridge that destroys the birthright that Black people struggled so hard to preserve.

FOLGER: Talking with Ambassador Alan Keyes, founder of RenewAmerica. We'll take your calls with the time we have left, (800) 733-9829. Maybe we'll get a call in yet. We'll talk more with him when we come back.

[break]

FOLGER: Turning people of faith into people of action. Today, we have both in Dr. Alan Keyes. What I'd like you to do, if you can, keep your comments real short, and your questions to one very quick one, if you can, so we can fit as many people in, because they all want to talk to you, Dr. Keyes.

Let's go first to Michigan. We've got Carrie in Missoula waiting. Hey, Carrie.

CALLER: Hi, I just want to know what denomination Dr. Keyes is from.

KEYES: I'm Roman Catholic.

CALLER: That's what I thought. Oh, okay. Thank you.

FOLGER: Appreciate the call. Victoria in Hartford, Wisconsin.

CALLER: Yes, hi. This is an honor for us to talk to Alan Keyes. My first question is will you be running for president? 'Cause I haven't seen your name up there yet. And then another thing is that, you know, I too have a ministered testimony. I was kind of half-and-half when I became a born-again Christian on the subject of abortion. I was kind of lost after my son's dad had left me because I accepted Christ as my Savior. And I was lost on, well, should I get an abortion or not, because I became pregnant. And, well, the Lord intervened, because I went to Planned Parenthood, believe it or not, of all places. And the lady told me, "I couldn't counsel you on that." But she gave me literature. But I prayed, and I'd asked my sons, and they all were against it. And so I ended up not having an abortion, because when they checked me out, I six months pregnant and didn't even know it. So, the Lord intervened and now I'm raising my son. I'm still a single mom, but God is taking very, very good care of us. I couldn't imagine my life without my son.

FOLGER: Praise God. Appreciate the call.

KEYES: So many times I have heard such testimony in the work I have done with CPCs (crisis pregnancy centers) around the country, that it makes you realize that God hasn't written on our hearts with His finger for no reason that sense of the love that people have for their offspring, and the power that the mere possibility of that offspring has over our will.

The voice of the child is the voice of God.

And even voiceless, that child's existence speaks to us with the power of God, and I think then when people heed it, they find that their lives are enriched by their acceptance of His gift and of His will. And that, I think, is one of the best testimonies to the truth of the pro-life position.

FOLGER: And now, P.J. in Waukesha. Welcome.

CALLER: Hello.

KEYES: Hello.

FOLGER: Hi, very quickly if you can.

CALLER: I have a comment for Dr. Keyes. I commend his strong stand from his pulpit, and I wish that we had more leaders in our pulpits who would make equally strong stands and bring this information strongly to their congregations.

KEYES: I agree. One of the things I have done--as you know, Janet, because I know you've also been engaged in this work--is I've worked with people like Rick Scarborough and others, whose mission in life is to reenergize the pulpits of America and get folks to be standing strong on these great issues that challenge the moral basis of our character, and where, to tell you the truth, only people of Christian faith are going to be motivated to stand witness to the whole truth. Because that whole truth requires that we acknowledge the will of God, that we acknowledge His intimate interest in our lives as individuals and as a nation, and that we act in response to His love to take responsibility for our own actions and try to walk His walk.

That's what we need to be hearing and be challenged with from the pulpit, but too often now people are too busy building empires and building up numbers and doing other things that really have to do with worldly ambitions, and they're not really just standing firm to bear witness to these truths and to ask people to step forward to make that witness in every area of their lives, including, of course, their vocation as citizens.

FOLGER: We've got Pastor Charlie calling all the way from Hazard, Kentucky. How you listening to us, Pastor?

CALLER: On the internet, Sister Janet. Thank you for taking my call.

FOLGER: Sure.

CALLER: Brother Alan, thank you for your testimony, your witness. I want to say to you that I'm doing the same thing that you're doing, my brother. I'm trying to stand tall. I'm encouraging my church that I serve that in these last days in which we are serving that Christianity is not a popular thing, but Jesus was both radical and revolutionary in his ministry.

KEYES: Amen.

CALLER: And I think the church is too apathetic and too timid, and we've got to have the spiritual audacity to stand up in these days and times in which we live. And woe unto that nation that forgets their God.

FOLGER: Let me interject a question for both of you. How is it that we look to the African-American community, we see people who are pro-life, why are those values not reflected in the election booth, polls?

CALLER: Go ahead, Brother Keyes.

KEYES: Well, it's a great problem for me. I think people have become involved in the historical context with the Democrat Party, and have a tendency to treat that involvement as if it cannot be questioned--when, in point of fact, the Democrats have departed so thoroughly from any foundations that are consistent with Christian faith that I cannot understand how a conscientious Christian who is aware of what's happening could actually cast a vote for the positions that Democrats take.

It's one of the reasons I remember I got roundly criticized because I made just that statement about my Democrat opponent in Illinois, and people dared to suggest that it was somehow wrong to suggest that Jesus wouldn't vote for this candidate or that--and I'm saying to myself, "Of course we've got to think that through. If we're casting our vote for a candidate that Jesus Christ wouldn't vote for, and yet we profess to be His disciples, there's something wrong with us."

And you can make objective judgments about whether or not what people are standing for is consistent with God's will. You can do that, and it's required of us that we apply the reason He gave us to that kind of discernment, and I think He wants us to do it.

But I think there's a tendency on the part of many people in the Black community to kind of act as if their party affiliation is more important than their faith.

FOLGER: Appreciate the call, Charlie. You've got about 15 seconds, Dr. Keyes. I'm gonna give you the final word.

KEYES: Well, I just think that people need in this time to be really standing forward to bear witness to the truth, especially in their vocation as citizens, and rather than settling for the lesser of evils, they need to be thinking about how they can involve themselves with what God really wants for this country, what's really good. And if He finds us, when He comes, standing on that side, we can be secure both in His will for the country and for ourselves.

FOLGER: Dr. Alan Keyes, thanks so much for joining us. We'll keep a close watch on whether or not you throw your hat in the ring. We'll have great interest. We'll have you back again. God bless you.

KEYES: Thank you, Janet. I appreciate the time.

FOLGER: Until next time, put your faith to action.

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