Dr. James Dobson: Hello, everyone. I'm James Dobson, the host of Family Talk, which is a division of the James Dobson Family Institute. I appreciate you joining us today, and if you listen regularly to this broadcast, you know that the topics and issues that we talk about vary widely from raising children, to providing support for marriage, to the meaning of masculinity, to goodness, an array of medical and psychological concerns, the hundreds of them.
And today's discussion will be unique in that array, I think, of subject matter. And for me, it goes back to several months ago when a friend sent me a copy of a book that was an eye-opener for me. And I wish everyone could read it, and I mean that seriously. The title of it is, Dark Agenda, written by a brilliant Jewish writer and commentator with an incredible history of involvement in public policy matters.
I met him when then Speaker of the House, Newt Gingrich, invited me to dinner in the Capitol building in his office, in fact. I thought I was going to be alone, but there were a number of people there. Also present that night was Senator Tom Coburn, Gary Bauer, and the author of the book we're going to talk about, Dark Agenda. His name is David Horowitz, and that's how we became acquainted with the views of this man. The writings that have been going on for a long time, he's written many books. I know of 15 of them. They're on history and culture and things I'm interested in, and I think you will be too.
His latest, Dark Agenda, has a subtitle that'll give you a clue as to where we're going. It's called, The War to Destroy Christian America. If you weren't listening carefully get that again, The War to Destroy Christian America. This was written by a Jewish man who is not a Christian, but he cares about this country and he cares about the Christian foundation for America, and that's what he's written about. And he has a passion to defend the things that, personally, I would give my life for.
David and I are now friends, and I thought that you should hear his views on what's happening to this great nation and why. What explains the struggles that we're having today and the battle that's going on. I'm telling you, this book covers the waterfront, and it's a very good, easy read. But let me tell you what some commentators have said about it, these are endorsements.
The first one is from Governor Mike Huckabee. He said, "One of the most intellectually compelling and rational defenses of Christian's role in America. A delightfully readable explanation of how Christian principles were the bedrock of the American Revolution, and how the anti-American left has targeted Christians because of that. A most compelling defense of Christianity."
Tucker Carlson said, "Read this disturbing but vital book." Gary Bauer said, "An eye-opening account of the left 60-year battle against America's Christian foundations. If you want to understand the political crisis our country is facing, read this book." And then Tom Coburn, former U.S. Senator, said, "David Horowitz has succinctly and wisely laid out the plans of the left to move our country away from the God-given right of freedom to practice our faith as our founders envisioned." That is the perspective on the book.
And I want to welcome you, David.
David Horowitz: Thank you for inviting me. I've been embattled on these religious grounds before. This was an opportunity for me also, to look at and understand the Christian foundations of America.
Dr. James Dobson: As a Jew, why have you chosen to defend the Christian faith?
David Horowitz: Well, I was a radical in the '60s, when parents... I was actually brought up by card-carrying communists. And sometime along in the early '70s, my eyes were open to the fact that I was part of a very destructive and evil movement, which is now called progressivism, when the Black Panther Party, which I had raised a lot of money for, murdered a woman I had recruited to do the bookkeeping for their operations. And then, when the left forced America to withdraw its support of its allies in Vietnam, and the communists proceeded to slaughter 2.5 million innocent Indochinese people.
And of course, there were no protests from the left. And then I said, "I am involved in a truly evil movement" and I have to rethink everything that I believed in.
Dr. James Dobson: You went through a crisis during that time, didn't you? Where everything that you had been taught as a child... Your parents were communists, or at least your father was. Is that correct?
David Horowitz: Both of them were.
Dr. James Dobson: Both of them were. And you've been part of the communist movement and the leftist agenda for all those years. You were 35 years of age, all of a sudden-
David Horowitz: So all my work was also, is bad. I didn't want people to read the books I had written because they were attacks on America. So I had to rethink America, I had to take another look.
And one of the first things that occurred to me is, you can't have an inalienable right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness unless there's a God, or unless you have respect for the idea of God, and respect for people who believe in God. Because if your rights are given to you by the government, they can be taken away.
Dr. James Dobson: Yeah.
David Horowitz: So that was the beginning of my search into America's religious foundations.
Now America was founded and was settled by, and founded by 98% Protestant Christians. So I looked into that too, and I saw that every value that we have, everything that we really cherish, the idea of the equality of all beings, the idea of tolerance, the idea of inclusion...
Dr. James Dobson: Free speech.
David Horowitz: Free speech, freedom of expression, freedom of conscience, these are all Christian ideas and they're Protestant Christian ideas. America is a product of the Protestant Reformation. It could not have been founded by any other religion, including and especially, atheism. Until the reformation, or before the reformation, you couldn't get to heaven except by going through the Catholic Church and its priesthood.
But the Catholic Church, like every church, is a human institution. Therefore, it's subject to human corruptions. So when the Protestants came up with this idea of the priesthood of all believers, and that is the idea from which America was created. Think about it for a moment. The idea of the priesthood of all believers is that everybody is on an equal footing, in terms of confronting their creator one-on-one without the intermediary of a church or a priest. The priesthood of all believers. Well, that includes Black slaves, and that's why America was a pioneer in freeing the slaves.
America gets blamed for a lot of the sins of the English. I mean, there's a lot of racism out there, particularly among progressives. They want to trace America's sin of slavery back to 1619 when the first settlers came. But there was no America in 1619, America was born in 1776 behind the proposition that all men are created equal and that everybody has an inalienable right to liberty.
Immediately, the slaves were being freed in the northern states, and I think they were all completely free by the beginning of the 19th century, the slave trade was ended. The reason that they couldn't liberate the whole country was because this plantation economy in the South was the livelihood and it was what the wealth of the South was built on. There isn't a case where a country abolished an institution which was its economic foundation.
Dr. James Dobson: And there was a lot of evil there.
David Horowitz: And they knew there was going to be a civil war if they did that.
Dr. James Dobson: That's what it took.
David Horowitz: And eventually, they bit that bullet and went into a civil war. Really one generation, they gave 350,000 union lives and freed the slaves. America can be proud of its heritage. Slavery was an evil institution, but the slaves were not enslaved by Americans. They were enslaved by Black Africans and sold at slave auctions in Ghana and Benin to Englishmen who brought them to America.
You have to judge America by what happened from their revolution. And what happened was the immediate freeing of slaves. And eventually, the abolition of slavery, not only in America but in the Western Hemisphere. In a sense, you could look at it, this was the greatest gift given to Black people in 3,000 years. Because nobody had said that slavery was immoral until a Christian in England, Wilberforce, really led this movement. And then, Thomas Jefferson wrote it into the Declaration of Independence.
Dr. James Dobson: Let's go back to what you said about the presupposition that the American foundational documents presupposed a God. And yet, you're not speaking as a God-fearing Jew.
David Horowitz: I'm an agnostic.
Dr. James Dobson: You are an agnostic.
David Horowitz: Which just means that I don't know. Look, atheism is a faith. You can't know that there's no God, it's a faith. In my view, it's a very bad faith and a very destructive one, and it's full of hate. But a believing Christian or a believing Jew has to be touched by faith.
Who knows? My personal history is one of a constant embattlement. At first, I was a leftist attacking this country. And then, I have spent the last 40 years defending it and taking on the left. Whatever it is, I don't know that there's a God. I don't have that faith. But I believe and I have written that, "The greatest wisdom that I know of about our condition or who we are, and where we are, is to be found in the Bible."
Dr. James Dobson: It is very obvious to anybody who's paying attention that we are at war today. There is a war of values, we called it a civil war of values. But there is a antipathy to anything Christian or conservative, which is sometimes the same thing, versus the leftist agenda. And they are determined to destroy the foundations of this country.
David Horowitz: To deny the role that Christians played in ending slavery, to deny the role that America played in ending slavery is to attack America in its very foundation. If you understand the role that Christian values have played in creating this country, that it could only have been created by Protestant Christians.
Dr. James Dobson: Even though George Washington had slaves and so did Jefferson.
David Horowitz: He free them and his wife, Martha, didn't. But the fact of the matter is, this country is responsible for the global idea now that all men are created equal and endowed by their creator with inalienable rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. A true revolution.
Dr. James Dobson: Take us quickly through the history of this antipathy, this hatred, this violence, in many cases against Christian thought.
David Horowitz: You can see it-
Dr. James Dobson: You dare not stand up as a member of Congress and talk about Jesus Christ.
David Horowitz: No, better not do that.
Dr. James Dobson: You going to pay a price for it. You maybe not even, will not even keep your seat.
David Horowitz: Yeah. The contempt for Christians, the disrespect is part of the disrespect for America.
Dr. James Dobson: Where did it start?
David Horowitz: Well, in my book, I introduce... It started with the Supreme Court, a series of Supreme Court decisions which were driven by the ACLU and Planned Parenthood lawyers, these are all radicals. My mother actually, when she lost her job in the school system because she was a communist, was hired by Planned Parenthood because Planned Parenthood was run by communists. She created the Margaret Sanger Library, and got the first Margaret Sanger Award.
In 1962, there was a Supreme Court decision that said that prayer in the schools was unconstitutional. I have to tell you, I was a Jew, was a young person, when there was prayer in the schools. I was always fascinated, well, by the Lord's Prayer. I loved the language, I liked the ideas. It didn't make me a Christian, it was part of my learning experience. But they drove prayer out of the schools, the prayer that they found offensive, and it was a bunch of leftists who were the plaintiffs. It was a prayer that said something like, "Almighty God, thank you for protecting me, my family, and my country." It was about 23 words, non-denominational.
Prayer had been going on in the schools for 170 years, but a majority of six justices versus one said it was unconstitutional. Now you hear these people on the left, they talk about stare decisis and precedent. Here's 170 years of precedent, nobody ever complained about prayer in the schools until this Supreme Court, until the ACLU brought these suits to the Supreme Court.
And as Justice Potter Stewart, who was the lone dissenter, pointed out the hypocrisy of the court because the court opens every session with, "God bless this country and this honorable court." But, that didn't make a difference. Because leftists, they have contempt for what other people think, they think they know better than everybody. And they're not at all shy about running rough shot over everybody's rights and everybody's attitudes by using six Supreme Court justices who happened to be leftists.
Dr. James Dobson: And that, you say, was the opening battle of what's going on to this day?
David Horowitz: Beginning.
Yeah, because now you can't teach-
You can't teach school children that the pilgrims were Christians, and that they were fleeing persecution as Christians. You can't understand American democracy if you don't understand that. Why do we have a secular nation if it was founded by believing Christians? Which it was. We have it because these Christians understood that churches are human institutions, and therefore, subject to human corruption. And they didn't want one church to become the established church and persecutes them the way they have been persecuted in Europe. So they settled on a secular republic.
So every aspect of what we cherish as Americans, in our political system, comes from Christians, Protestant Christians. It's as simple as that. So the First Amendment, which is the cornerstone of all of our freedoms. If you don't have free speech and free conscience, you can't defend any of your freedoms. Once you lose that right, it's all over.
Dr. James Dobson: The second battle in that war was related to the first, and it had to do with Bibles in the school, Bible reading.
David Horowitz: Correct.
The spearhead of this, the plaintiff in this case was a lunatic communist named, Madalyn Murray O'Hair, who founded Atheists of America. And on the eve of when she went to, of course, she was aided by the ACLU lawyers, when she went to war against Bible reading in the schools. Right before she did that, she took her family to Europe and tried to defect to the Soviet Union, a Communist empire. But the KGB, I guess, saw that this was a lunatic woman. I have stories in there that you wouldn't believe in the book, about what she did.
Dr. James Dobson: They're very interesting.
David Horowitz: She was also a pathological liar. But the Supreme Court took this loon, that even the Russians thought was a loon, and they made her case change the fundamental law of the land.
So now, Americans are detached from their roots. They don't understand how our country was formed, and why it has the particular freedoms that it does, and why the institutions like the electoral college or the Senate.
Elizabeth Warren is apparently a professor at Harvard, though, who knows if she hadn't lied about her Indian heritage. Maybe she wouldn't have been hired by Harvard. She thinks one person, one vote, is what the founders wanted. No, they didn't. Because they understood that the problem, the root cause of social problems, is us. It's our natures.
Dr. James Dobson: You're getting really close to inherited sin there.
David Horowitz: Exactly right. Well, it's inherited, it's in the genes. Whatever it comes from, people can't be-
Dr. James Dobson: David said, "In sin did my mother conceived me." We were born with it. It's not society, it's us.
David Horowitz: Yes. Exactly right.
And I mean, we live in a time when the heads of our intelligence agencies, including the FBI but also the CIA, all three intelligence heads are corrupt. You see how crazy this all is and how dangerous it is. You cannot trust your government, that's a fundamental idea of the American founders, and it's a religious idea. It comes from a Christian view of human nature.
Dr. James Dobson: Let me go back many years before this, to what you write about this foundation of the hatred against religion. And I'm going to read from your book, this is page four of Dark Agenda.
"Karl Marx famously described religion as, "The opium of the people and the sigh of the oppressed." Inspired by his hatred ever since, revolutionaries have regarded religion as the enemy of progress and the mask of oppression.
In Russia, Marx's disciples removed religious teaching from the schools, outlawed criticism of atheists and agnostics and burned 100,000 churches. When priests demanded freedom of religion, they were sentenced to death. Between 1917 and 1935, 130,000 Russian Orthodox priests were arrested. 95% of whom were executed by firing squad.
Radicals in America today, don't have the political power to execute religious people and destroy their houses of worship. Yet, they openly declare their desire to obliterate religion."
That really is one of the foundational concepts that goes all the way back to Karl Marx.
David Horowitz: Yeah.
Part of what I've tried to put into this book is my lifetime experience with an understanding of the political left. Leftists habitually lie. And they lie because if they told you what their true agendas are, what their end game is, they probably would be strung up from the nearest lamppost. So they pretend to be progressives.
My parents never referred to themselves as communists, even though they were, it was always progressives. And they call themselves liberals. They're vindictive bigots, they're not liberal at all. Conservatives are liberals, Christians are liberal. We believe in two sides to a conversation, we believe in showing respect to other people.
Roger Marsh: I'm Roger Marsh, and you've been listening to Dr. Dobson's recent conversation with conservative writer David Horowitz.
Visit today's broadcast page at drjamesdobson.org for information about David's book, Dark Agenda, or his many other organizations.
Well, that brings us to the end of today's broadcast. Be sure to join us again for the conclusion of Dr. Dobson's interview with popular conservative author and speaker David Horowitz. Don't miss their riveting conversation coming up next time, right here, on Dr. James Dobson's Family Talk.
Announcer: This has been a presentation of the Dr. James Dobson Family Institute.
Dr. James Dobson: Many of us spend a lot of time trying to gain the respect of others. But the truth is, the person we most need respect from is ourselves.
Ffyona Campbell of Great Britain so longed for the admiration of others that she spent 11 years walking around the world. Her goal was to make it into the Guinness Book of Records. Her long journey came to an end in October of 1994 at the northern tip of Scotland before thousands of cheering fans. It was Ffyona's finest day. At last, she found the admiration she craved.
But, her heart was heavy because she knew she had cheated. While walking across the United States, she became weary and accepted a ride for 1,000 miles. In the months to come, the shame of having cheated drove her to drugs and alcohol, she even considered suicide. To appease her conscience, she made the trip to America and finished the 1,000-mile stretch in secret, but even that didn't help. So she called the Guinness Office and asked that her name be removed from the record book, and then she publicly apologized.
The lesson Ffyona learned is a timeless one. It's possible to live without the admiration of others, what we can't live without is self-respect. One more thought, isn't it interesting that Ffyona is most respected for having the courage to admit her mistake and make it right?
Announcer: To hear more, visit our broadcast page at drjamesdobson.org.
Roger Marsh: Hey everyone, Roger Marsh here for Family Talk.
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