This was a fascinating two-part conversation centered upon Dennis's documentary film, No Safe Spaces. The two further unpack the all out assault against the First Amendment happening in our society, which has been supported by a progressive higher education system. Here now is the remainder of Dr. James Dobson's interview with Dennis Prager on today's edition of Family Talk.
Dennis Prager: I've studied the Left my whole life. I was at the Russian Institute at Columbia for my graduate work. So, I studied Russian. I went to the Soviet Union, studied Marx... I studied all of this, and I've always wanted to understand what does the Left really stand for. You see, if I said to you, "You're a Christian. So, tell me, what should I read to know what you stand for?" You'll say, "Go to the Bible." You ask a Muslim what he'll say. "Go to the Quran." You ask a Buddhist. "The works of Buddha." So, ask a Leftist, "What book should I read to understand what you stand for?" You will get no answer. "Well, there were so many. I don't know what to say." So, I realized there isn't really, so to speak, a Leftist Bible.
It only hit me in the last 10 years, it took me a life of study to realize, the Left stands for chaos, and I learned this in doing my Genesis commentary. That's why this Bible commentary thing is so important. What does God do for six days? God, doesn't only create. The word create is only used three times. What God does more than create is make order. It's all about order. Separation. Separation between man and God. They're not the same thing anymore. All the gods of the ancient world were human beings in heaven. Separation between male and female. It's the only separation God cares of in the human species. God doesn't give a hoot about race or anything else. He cares about male-female. God created the human being male and female. He created them. The Left is destroying every distinction. It destroys order. They hate order. They hate the order of parent-child. They hate the order of male-female. They hate the order of God-man.
So, that's what it is. These are people who thrive on chaos, and if there's chaos, there will be rampant evil. That's why I fear the Left and fight the Left as much as I do.
Dr. Dobson: Let me tell you why I think that's true. When given a choice between chaos and tyranny, people will always take tyranny, because chaos is-
Dennis Prager: Right.
Dr. Dobson: -terribly disturbing.
Dennis Prager: Right.
Dr. Dobson: And if somebody stands up there and says, "I can bring order," they will go with him. That's been a lesson of history. And so, this dilemma between chaos and tyranny will lead to greater power. It's a search for power. It's a grab for power.
Dennis Prager: That is right. I totally agree. When I think what animates these people, what would animate a middle class, female teacher to say, "There's no such thing as boys and girls."? This woman is not thinking, "Oh, I want tyranny." It will lead to tyranny. That's where I totally agree with you, but on any conscious level, it's chaos. I don't know why.
I know the opposite of order is exactly what you're saying, is tyranny. It must lead to it. People cannot live with disorder. So, we have created in America, an amazing amalgam of order and freedom, unique in human history, without tyranny, and they are ruining it.
So, I tell you what animates me in part. When I went to Normandy very many years ago and I saw thousands and thousands of graves of soldiers, most of whom were 20 or 22 or 19 years old, and I said to myself, "These kids, these guys, they died to preserve America and preserve Liberty, so nobody's asking me to die. Then, I have to live to preserve America and Liberty." And that... I took that oath at Normandy, and that's why I fight.
Dr. Dobson: Well, that's what motivates us all, all of us on our side of the agenda.
Dennis Prager: I think that's true.
Dr. Dobson: We are going to fight for the things that we believe as long as we have breath within our bodies, and I know that you feel the same way. Tell me about your trip to Russia when you were younger, that made a profound impact on you.
Dennis Prager: Yes. It's in the film. Yes, and they got it right. They did it beautifully. They replicated my hotel room. They replicated me with this young guy. The Israeli government would send Israeli young people into the Soviet union to smuggle in Jewish religious items and smuggle out names of Jews who wanted to leave. It was somewhat dangerous, but-
Dr. Dobson: How old were you?
Dennis Prager: Just turned 21 years old. Anyway, the Israeli government, through friends of mine who knew me... It was an incredible, beyond belief coincidence... learn this American kid. He knows Judaism. He knows Russian. He knows Hebrew. He's like ideal. They couldn't send in Israeli kids after '67, because the Soviets broke off diplomatic relations with Israel in the Six Day War in 1967. So, they were sending in foreign, Jewish kids. So, I was sent into the Soviet Union for a month, and while I was there, to keep my sanity, I would get up in the morning knowing my room was bugged. Everybody knew that. It was a special, Westerner hotel. It was bugged.
So, I got up. I would walk over to the wall, and in Russian, I'd go, "How you doing guys? I hope you're up. I hope you have slept well. Hope you're enjoying some coffee. Great to be with you today, and then I would sing this song from the Psalms in Hebrew, which is the way I learned it. "Their idols are of golden and silver. The works of man, they have a mouth, but they cannot speak. They have eyes, and they cannot see. They have..." So, it was my ode against idolatry, which I would then sing to the wall of my hotel room, and that's in the film.
Dr. Dobson: So, you were deliberately taunting-
Dennis Prager: Oh, totally, totally taunting them. By the end of my trip, I think they knew the song.
Dr. Dobson: You're a dangerous man.
Dennis Prager: I am a very dangerous man, and I laugh a lot. That's why I'm really dangerous.
Dr. Dobson: Talk a little bit about anti-Semitism and how it is growing again. I mean, it's gone on for 3000 years or more. Why now? After we fought World War II-
Dennis Prager: Yeah, you'd think.
Dr. Dobson: The Holocaust and everything, why now?
Dennis Prager: In the Passover service, it's called the Haggadah, and it's recited at the Passover Seder in Jewish homes. There's a line in it, which is 2000 years old: "In every generation, there arises someone who wishes to annihilate us." And, the Hebrew is amazing. It's annihilate, not oppress.
Dr. Dobson: Yeah.
Dennis Prager: Annihilate, and I remember as a kid thinking, "Not after the Holocaust. The world has learned its lesson," Then, sure enough, I was wrong, and the ancient rabbis who wrote that, they were right. And sure enough, now it's Iran. Iran is dedicated to annihilating the Jewish state and its inhabitants.
Dr. Dobson: So why? What's behind it?
Dennis Prager: Why? Okay. Well, I wrote a book on anti-Semitism years ago. This is not an easy answer. To a Christian, I could say this, because this will resonate. When I say it to secular audiences, I have to do a lot more explaining.
I am convinced that it has to do with the Jews being the chosen people. There is no rational explanation.
Dr. Dobson: We certainly understand that.
Dennis Prager: You know what? In Fiddler on the Roof, Tevye, the milkman, says... pleads with God, "Why don't you choose somebody else for a while? Give us a break." Jews have always felt that, because it's a burden. It is never... By the way, never did it imply Jews are better than anybody else. The old Testament doesn't hold Jews as superior. It holds that God and the Torah are superior.
A man named Ernest Van Den Haag, who was a great conservative thinker, not a religious man, for National Review. He wrote a book, The Jewish Mystique. I always tell people, if you read one book about the Jews, that's the book. I've written about it, so that's a very high recommendation. And he said, "The Jews introduced into the world a judging God, and for this, they have never been forgiven." That's what I believe in the final analysis is what it is about.
Dr. Dobson: Well, that fits with my theology, too.
Dennis Prager: I'm sure it does.
Dr. Dobson: I understand that. What's interesting to me is that racism has become hated in this country, if I can say that. Racism is not tolerated by the Left or the Right. It shouldn't be, and yet, the Left is very much involved in this anti-Semitism.
Dennis Prager: Yes.
Dr. Dobson: I didn't say that very well, but you understand the contradiction.
Dennis Prager: No, no, no. You said it very well. Well, the truth is though... I want to be very precise. Liberals and conservatives are against racism. The Left is rooted in it. The Left supports all-black dormitories on college campuses. The Left supports black graduation exercises at Harvard.
Dr. Dobson: Really?
Dennis Prager: Yes. There are about 70 universities with all-black dormitories. The fact that you said "really?" shows that you're not a Leftist. You and I correctly think it's shocking that there would be a race-based dormitory and that it's considered progressive.
Dr. Dobson: I didn't know that.
Dennis Prager: Oh yes.
Dr. Dobson: If you're a politician and you get tagged with being a racist, you're done.
Dennis Prager: Yeah, but they don't consider that racist, because they use the term utterly imprecisely. They use it to smear non-racists, like us. I am called a racist for opposing black dormitories. The University of California has a list.
Dr. Dobson: You're called a racist?
Dennis Prager: Oh, Google has an internal memo that Ben Shapiro, Jordan Peterson, and PragerU are Nazis.
Dr. Dobson: You're kidding me.
Dennis Prager: Nope. We have a picture of the actual email.
Dr. Dobson: Wow. That's a fascinating subject. Tell us in closing, or as we move on here, about PragerU. You mentioned that in the report in the comments.
Dennis Prager: Well, my dear friend and producer of my show, Allen Estrin, came over to me on one of our listener cruises about 10 years ago. He said, "Dennis, what do you think of the idea of Prager University?" He had a brilliant idea. "Let's take your ideas and put them in five-minute distillations, but not, obviously not just with you. With a whole bunch of wonderful people with good values." Had he said to me, "I think we could get a million views a year." I would have said, "Oh, come on, Alan. From your mouth to God's ears," and now we have a billion views a year. 65% of them are under 35 years of age. If you would walk with me in an airport, you would be stunned. Almost all of the people walking over to me are young people.
I was at the Nashville airport two weeks ago. Eight people walked over to me. Seven of them were under 30 years of age. I just spoke to 1200 young people in Romania, people watching PragerU videos, and that's why they really... They don't like us, because we, with pure reason, calm, civility, and honesty, decimate Left-wing arguments. We don't even use the word left almost ever. We decimate it by being positive. "Here's why America has been a good country." Do you know we made a video with Victor Davis Hanson.
Dr. Dobson: Yeah. Great man.
Dennis Prager: Professor of Classics. He is a great man, and he's as sweet a man as exists. He did this calm video, five minutes on the Korean War, and YouTube put that up on the restricted list. Why? Lest, God forbid, Americans and the world know that 37,000 Americans died to keep half of Korea free?
It's really vile what they're doing, but they have a particular animus to Israel. Half of the videos of the 15 are on the restricted list, but we're marching forward. We're bigger every year.
Dr. Dobson: You've got a lawsuit going.
Dennis Prager: We have a lawsuit going because of this. Google is lying. Google says it's an open forum. It isn't, and people say, "Well, it's a private group. They can censor all they want. That's not the government." They're right, but then, they can't have it both ways. They can't censor all they want and call themselves an open forum. If the university said, "We're here to indoctrinate people into Leftism," that would end my critique of the university. It's the lie that they're intellectually alive that rankles me.
Dr. Dobson: Would you send your son or daughter to a liberal university?
Dennis Prager: Providing they watched all the PragerU videos in advance. That's what is... We are so lucky to be living at this time in America, that if a weren't for the Left and its hysteria, people would just be... They would hug each other at the airport. That's what it is. This is such a spectacularly friendly people. Minnesotans. I speak in Minnesota a lot. I'm on the radio in Minnesota. They're known as Minnesota Nice, and they are. And then, they vote not nice, which proves that nice people can do damage. I figured out why. Nice is not the same as wise. Lack of wisdom creates evil, not lack of niceness.
Dr. Dobson: That's profound.
Dennis Prager: Took me a lifetime to realize that. Why did all these nice people ruin the country? And by the way, where does wisdom begin? Wisdom begins with the fear of the Lord. That's what I realized when I was at Columbia. Why am I getting no wisdom? And then, this verse came to me in Hebrew. I'll say it in Hebrew, because that's where it started. [foreign language 00:14:52] "Wisdom begins with fear of the Lord." And I realized, I know why there's no wisdom at Columbia. There is no God at Columbia, and there's no Bible. That's the reason I'm writing my Bible commentary. There is no wisdom in the Western world outside of the Bible. Yes, there were some great Greek writers and some great Roman writers, but you got to go really far back. They were rooted, at least, in their own Greek or Roman philosophy. Today, we have nothing. The post-Christian world, and I'm saying this is as a Jew... The post-Christian world is bereft of wisdom.
Dr. Dobson: If you go to Proverbs 8, the second half of Proverbs 8, it says that "I was there before the foundations of the earth, before the streams and the mountains, I was there with God before he did those things," and then it says, "I"... It's in first person. "I am wisdom."
Wisdom was with God, because it's an expression of his character. It's not something He made. It's something He is, and it antedated the creation of the universe. That's why the laws of God are as inevitable. They're going to play out. They carry even more moral authority than creation in the physical world. You jump off a building, you're going to fall. But, you break the laws of God, and it's as inevitable what's going to happen to you.
Dennis Prager: That's right. That's exactly right.
Dr. Dobson: And the word wisdom means a whole lot.
Dennis Prager: I'm not sure that the average college student could spell the word. I'm not being cute.
Dr. Dobson: They don't know what it is.
Dennis Prager: They've never heard it.
Dr. Dobson: We define it as seeing things from God's point of view.
Dennis Prager: That's fine with me. Their alternative is to see things from the heart's point of view. A five-year old kid in Christian or Jewish school knows not to trust his heart. A 50-year old secularist still thinks, "Trust your heart."
Dr. Dobson: Man, there's a lot of wisdom that's come out in this program.
Dennis Prager: That's my goal.
Dr. Dobson: It's my pleasure to have you here, Dennis.
Dennis Prager: It's an honor to be with you.
Dr. Dobson: I really enjoy talking to you, and I listen to you often.
Dennis Prager: Thank you, again.
Dr. Dobson: And I hope you'll come back.
Dennis Prager: I'd love to. Thank you, everybody. Thank you. Thank you so much.
Dr. Dobson: Well, this is Dr. James Dobson again, and we've come to the end of the formal interview with Dennis Prager. Wasn't that an interesting discussion? I just love hearing this man talk, because he's so articulate on practically every subject. In fact, when this interview was over, I turned to the audience and asked if anyone wanted to pose their own question. Several did, and we recorded it. I'm going to let you hear that now.
Speaker 4: This is for either of you, but I want to know if either of you are willing to speculate on where this insanity started. Over the last 10 years on the campuses, things have amped up, but where do you think that it began?
Dennis Prager: In a nutshell, it goes like this. As I said in my statement at the Senate, the Left has never valued liberty. Liberals always have. Conservatives always have. The more the Left takes over, the less liberty you have to me. To me, it is literally as simple as that. There is no place that the Left runs where there is freedom, and the further Left you go, the less freedom there is.
Dr. Dobson: You know, it's not really new, though. I'm old enough to have lived through the sixties, and it was pretty nasty then.
Dennis Prager: That's right. It isn't new. That's exactly right.
Speaker 5: Thank you so much for being here. I really, really appreciate it. Love the documentary. One of my favorite quotes actually was, "Today's campus snowflake is tomorrow's teacher, judge or elected official." So what's the next generation of leaders look like, do you think, coming up?
Dennis Prager: Like this one, except that they're getting more and more powerful and more ubiquitous. But, the Trump victory really set them back, in terms of judges and in terms of Iran, in terms of Israel, and the hysteria over climate. I don't have any issue with science. I have an issue with hysteria. I have long, long, long ago told people, "Only trust experts on data, but never on recommendations," because they're very narrowly focused and they don't have a broad wisdom.
Dr. Dobson: Dennis, you did your radio program from our studio today.
Dennis Prager: Yes.
Dr. Dobson: I was listening to you out there, and I wrote down a couple of quotes I would like you to elaborate on.
Dennis Prager: Right.
Dr. Dobson: I thought they were wonderful.
Dennis Prager: Thank you.
Dr. Dobson: You said that "everything the Left touches poisons it."
Dennis Prager: It ruins. It poisons. Correct. That is the key to understanding modern life. There is no exception. From the US Women's Soccer team to late night television, to pro football, to art, to music, to schools, there is nothing the Left touches it doesn't ruin, and I might add, Christianity and Judaism.
Dr. Dobson: Okay [inaudible 00:20:15].
Speaker 6: Mr. Prager, I have a question. Describe the difference between a fanatic and an activist and why it's important to have more activists to have discussion rather than fanatics, who are violent. An activist literally means one who is active. I guess the best definition of a fanatic is someone who believes in things irrespective of reason and irrespective of morality. The consequences of their beliefs don't matter to them. Only their beliefs do. That's my working definition of a fanatic.
Dennis Prager: Define for us the difference between liberal and Leftist. I have a five-minute video at PragerU with six... No, no, you should watch it. Six examples of liberal-Left, the difference. Race is the most obvious. Leftism believes in race. Liberalism doesn't believe in race. Liberalism believes race is not important. The Left believes race is very important.
That's why you can have the concept of a black who is conservative is called a race traitor. That is exactly what the Nazis would say. If a white was anti-Nazi, he was called a race traitor. It's beyond belief that this is acceptable.
Capitalism is another one. Liberals were always pro-capitalism, and Left was always anti-capitalism.
Liberty. Liberals... When I was a kid, the Nazis marched in Skokie. Real Nazis, with real swastikas and real Jew-eliminationist hatred, marched in Skokie, because there were a lot of Holocaust survivors living there. So, it's particularly cruel. All the liberals were for it, and I, as a Jew, I understood it. I hated their guts. I wanted the earth to open up like it did with Korah and his rebels, but it didn't, and so on. But nevertheless, in America, you are allowed to be a Nazi and march in a Jewish area. That's what America allows.
America's the only country in the world that allows Holocaust denial. They have the right to utter evil, but not in Europe. You go to jail if you deny the Holocaust. This is a free country, so the Left does not believe in freedom.
So, I gave you race. I gave you capitalism. I gave you freedom. America? Liberals love America. The Left all over the world hates America. Barack Obama's famous phrase, five days before he was elected in 2008... I play this on my radio show every month. "We are five days away from fundamentally transforming the United States of America." Any person or thing you wish to fundamentally transform you do not love. If you met a man who said, "I really love my wife, but I would like to fundamentally transform her..." Okay. Why are you laughing? Because it's ludicrous. You do not love what you wish to fundamentally transform. The Left hates America. Liberals loved America. God bless America was written by a liberal Jew, okay?
By the way, to show you Jews go all over the place, do you know that most of the classic Christmas songs were written by Jews?
Dr. Dobson: It's true.
Dennis Prager: Yep, but now Leftism is so poisoned to Jewish life that the Jew and Christians and non-Jews, who are not Christian... God bless America is almost a fascist song in their minds.
Ryan Dobson: Oh, what an informative interview. This is Ryan Dobson, and you've been listening to my dad's conversation with author and radio host, Dennis Prager. Visit the broadcast page for information about Dennis's new documentary, No Safe Spaces, or his popular radio show. There, you'll also see a link to request a CD of this interview. Click on the Order a CD Copy link to get your hands on today's program. Find all this and more at drjamesdobson.org, and then click on today's broadcast page.
Well, that concludes Family Talk's 10-Year Anniversary retrospective. Thanks for listening all this month. This has been so much fun. I really enjoyed revisiting these classic programs with you. Thanks for having me, and thank you for celebrating a decade of my dad's dedication to the institution of the family. You've been listening to Family Talk, part of the James Dobson Family Institute. Have a blessed weekend.
Narrator: This has been a presentation of the Dr. James Dobson Family Institute.
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