Robertson, Lapin Discuss the Influence of Secular Liberalism

Pat Robertson: President-elect George W. Bush has made no secret of the fact he intends to solicit the counsel of those in America's religious community. Soon after winning the election he called more than a dozen religious leaders to advise him on the role of faith in public policy. One of those leaders is our next guest. Rabbi Daniel Lapin is head of a group called Toward Tradition. He's also the author of a book called America's Real War. It's a fascinating account of what he feels is really important in this nation. Rabbi Lapin, it's always a delight to have you back with us.

Rabbi Lapin: Thank you very much.

Robertson: You have given articulate support of traditional values. What did you tell the president-elect when you met with him?

Lapin: Well, for a start I said that it was really very exciting and very significant that in a week on which he spent Monday meeting with Capitol Hill leaders, and Tuesday he spent at the White House with the president and the vice president, that Wednesday he spent with a group of religious leaders. And even with a robust ego, of which I am certainly guilty, I couldn't persuade myself that what he really needed was our input and our advice. I couldn't believe that. But I think he wanted to send a message. I think he wanted to send a message to America and say, eight years ago Bill Clinton made his first priority appeasing the homosexual radical agenda. I intend making my priority rolling back the epidemic of secularism that was unleashed on this country eight years ago.

Robertson: What would you tell him to do, if he was really asking your advice, what would you like to see him accomplish?

Lapin: I would like to see him level the playing field and eliminate the mood that's been inflicted on America that the struggle in America is between an aggressive dangerous Christian theocracy and a benign secularism that's good for everybody. That isn't true. And I think George W. Bush, not in any way that will make anyone uncomfortable, except perhaps those who were desperately eager to see more secularism in America, all he¡¯s going to do is say the struggle in America today is between two competing faiths: the faith of the Judeo-Christian traditions, and the faith of aggressive, fundamentalist secular liberalism.

Robertson: As an Orthodox Jew, there are many Jews who look with great suspicion on evangelical Christians. You say just the opposite. Why?

Lapin: Because the struggle in America today is not between blacks and whites, or rich and poor, or men and women, or Jews and Christians. This is part of the myth that has been imposed upon America by a secular liberal Democratic Party designed to try and fracture America into many different splinter groups. This is Marxism at its classic best. There is a struggle in America today, but it isn't between Jews and Christians, and not between rich and poor, or black and white, or men and women. The struggle in America today is between those who see a role for faith in America's future just as our founders did, and those who want to vigorously eject faith from the public arena.

Robertson: And this is essentially the heart of your book America¡¯s Real War, which I recommend. Is this still in print and still available?

Lapin: It sure is, yes. It's been a great blessing to us.

Robertson: We're looking at John Ashcroft who is an outspoken evangelical Christian, but he's a man of extraordinary integrity and extraordinary ability who has done many fantastic things in a lifetime of service, yet a coalition of the secularists have gone after him with tooth and tong.

Lapin: Well, I'm personally grateful to him because he was kind enough to give a very gracious jacket endorsement on this very book. But quite apart from that, I think it's important to recognize the hypocrisy implicit in the attacks on him. They charge that he is going to bring his Christian faith into his office. Well, think about it for a moment. What is politics other than the practical application of our most deeply held values? And when the secular left brings its most deeply held values into the political arena, that's called okay.

Robertson: Yes.

Lapin: But if Senator Ashcroft were to do that, springing from deep and profound Christian belief, somehow this is sinister and ominous. As an Orthodox Jew, I find secularism sinister and I find Christianity benign.

Robertson: I must say, you're from the Orthodox tradition, but as Jay Sekulow, who himself is Jewish, said invariably on the other side of the table in religious liberties cases, the American Jewish Congress or one of the Jewish organizations are continuously fighting for secularism in America. You know, those in your commune are leading the charge, or are they your commune?

Lapin: This is the point. The struggle in America is today between those who see a legitimate role for God and those who want to vigorously eject him from the village square. There are Jews on both sides of that debate and there are Gentiles on both sides of that debate. There's no question about it. And I think it's important to identify the fact, and Jay is certainly correct, that when you find Jews allying themselves with the American Civil Liberties Union and trying to perpetrate yet one more secular outrage on America, those are Jews who have long ago renounced the faith of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob and embraced a new faith, the faith of fundamentalist, secular liberalism.

Robertson: The Orthodox Jewish community doesn¡¯t share that point of view. You want to do everything you can to rebuild a vibrant faith in America.

Lapin: Because I know that this country, America is a country that has provided the most tranquil and prosperous haven for Jews in the last 2,000 years and I know that that's not in spite of America being a Christian nation, but it's precisely because America is a Christian nation.

Robertson: We appreciate your incredible insights. Ladies and gentlemen, this is a deep thinker and a man who has put down some marvelous thoughts in this book, America¡¯s Real War . You need to get this book and read it because it outlines in graphic detail the battle that is on, a cultural war, if I can use that term. It's always a delight to have you with us. God bless you.

Lapin: Thank you very much.

Robertson: Thank you.