Politicians Whose Labels Don’t Match Their Political Choices: Tune in to hear today’s episode where we are talking with Father Frank Pavone with Priests for Life. He answers the question of, “Why is it that almost every Catholic Politician, including those who grew up in Catholic school is pro-abortion?” Tune in now to hear the answer!

Air Date: 04/10/2017


Guests:  Frank Pavone, David Barton, Rick Green, and Tim Barton


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Transcription note:  As a courtesy for our listeners’ enjoyment, we are providing a transcription of this podcast.  However, as this is transcribed from a live talk show, words and sentence structure were not altered to fit grammatical, written norms in order to preserve the integrity of the actual dialogue between the speakers.  Additionally, names may be misspelled because of the difficulty in understanding the speaker at times. We apologize in advance.

Welcome

Rick:

Welcome to the intersection of faith and the culture, this is WallBuilders Live! Where we’re talking about these hottest topics on policy, faith, and the culture, always looking at it from Biblical, historical, and constitutional perspective.

We’re here with David Barton, America’s premiere historian and the founder of WallBuilders. Also, Tim Barton with us today national speaker, pastor, and president of WallBuilders. And my name’s Rick Green, I’m a former Texas state legislator.

Find out more about us at our websites WallBuilders.com and WallBuildersLive.com. The differences WallBuilders Live is our radio website which has a lot of great information on there. Then WallBuilders.com, a wealth of information as well. But you can also find out about our other events and programs.

WallBuilders is a national pro-family organization presenting America’s forgotten history and heroes with an emphasis on our religious, moral, and constitutional heritage. David, Tim, today later in the program we’re going to have Father Frank with us.

Father Frank Pavone, Priests for Life. It’s been a little while since we had him, a great guest on the program. But let’s first just talk a little bit about, maybe, something that we haven’t ever talked about before.

It’s a market issue. If the government thinks that you’re labeling things fraudulently they actually come after you for that. If you sell a product and say, “It’s got this or that and it turns out you don’t actually have it in there, that’s called fraud.”

Tim:

Well, Rick, I’ve thought that before. We’ve done some studio recording and they say, “Makeup is supposed to make you look better.” And I’ve never thought you looked better. I thought, “That is fraud.”

Rick:

Can we have the money back from the makeup people?

Tim:

I mean, is that the right direction?

Rick:

Maybe not, maybe that’s why I have a face for radio.

Looking Beyond The Label

David:

One of the things that’s really interesting to me is how much money people put into building their brand. What was the price of a Super Bowl 30 second commercial? Was it like 25 million?

Tim:

It was just outside our budget, just barely.

David:

Just outside our lifetime budget. People put how many millions or tens of millions into building their brand? But as it turns out it’s not the brand that makes the difference it’s the quality of it.

And that’s where consumer ratings have come in. I’ve learned from Tim that the consumer ratings really mean things. He’ll look it up and say, “Well, it has a rating this, that, or whatever.

I recently had an experience that really kind of drove this home to me. Out on the ranch, guys, it worked for us out on the ranch. Great guys working for us and I’ve always had Ford pickups. And the reason I had Ford pickups is real simple. I have retired three Ford pickups at three hundred thousand miles. I retired another two at two hundred eighty thousand miles. If I get a Ford pickup it will last forever so I love it.

So I had a Ford pickup at about 150,000 miles, the engine started banging and making noise and I’m getting pistons and rods not doing what they’re supposed to. And my ranch guy said, “Oh yeah, you got that 5.4 leader engine in that Ford and they always go out at 150,000.”

I’m going, “Man, I bought the brand label and thought it was going to work and I didn’t check the consumer ratings. And now I’m looking at an engine going out and half the time it should have.”

So, it really drove home to me that it doesn’t matter how much confidence you have in the brand. You have to look at the actual consumer ratings. That’s part of what we’re finding now is we’re buying into labels whether it’s Catholic, Protestant,  conservative, liberal, or progressive, or anything else. And it’s not really the label that you need to react to, what are the stats that go under that label? What kind of fruit does it produce?

Coining Phrases

Tim:

I was going to say, are you suggesting we should judge a tree by the fruits?

David:

It’s a radical idea.

Tim:

Interesting.

David:

I wonder if anybody has ever talked about that before?

Tim:

Actually, I’m going to coin a phrase, “judge a tree by the fruits” you can just attribute that to Tim Barton. Well… me and Jesus, but you know.

David:

I think Matthew 7 might be the attribution you want on that one. You and Jesus share that one.

Tim:

See, it was out of the abundance of my heart that my mouth speaking. I also just coined that phrase. I just made that one up, too.

David:

You won’t find that in Matthew 12, you can’t find that one.

Judge Them By Their Fruits

Rick:

I remember you guys applying this principle actually to basically people that are out there either in politics or public spokesman type people. And at one point, David, I remember you saying one time, well look, Bill Clinton always bragged about being a Baptist so he had this Protestant label.

He’d go to church, he’d have that big old Bible in his arm, make sure the camera was there. But then you look at his policies and it was pro-abortion and all this crazy stuff. You’re going, “Ok, well the results, the fruit is not there.”

And then there’s other people that we work with in the culture wars that may not have the same label we have but the fruit is great. And so we want to be where the results are.

David:

Yeah, I’ve said for a long time that I love Christian folks in office but there’s a ton of God-fearing Jews I would vote for before thousands of evangelical Christians. I would vote for Rabbi Daniel Lapin for any office he wants to run for.

Tim:

Absolutely.

David:

He thinks more Biblical than most Christians I know. The labels don’t always match up with what the results are in the consumer ratings.

And that’s what we’re going to look at in some of this program is an article that came out recently talking about a certain label and how it’s just not quite performing up to the way it should.  It’s one of those religious labels that you get certain thoughts with but it doesn’t have the fruit that it should have.

Rick:

Stay with us folks, going to take a quick break. When we come back you’ll find out what that label is. You’re listening to WallBuilders Live.

Moment From American History.

This is Tim Barton from WallBuilders with another moment from American history. American patriot Paul Revere rode to alert Americans of the impending arrival of the British. But he also sought patriot leader Samuel Adams and John Hancock to warn them that the British were seeking their execution.

Adams and Hancock were staying with the Reverend Jonas Clark in Lexington. When they asked Pastor Clark if his church was ready for the approaching British he replied, “I’ve trained them for this very hour. They will fight and if need be, die under the shadow of the house of God.”

Later that morning 70 men from his church, a several hundred British in the first battle of the War for Independence. As Pastor Clark affirmed, “The militia that morning were the same who filled the pews of the church meeting house on the Sunday morning before.”

The American church was regularly at the forefront of the fight for liberty. For more information on this pastor and other colonial Patriots go to WallBuilders.com.

The Christian Label

Rick:

Thanks for staying with us here on WallBuilders Live we were talking about the, what would you call that, David? Honesty and labeling?

David:

It ought to be honesty and labeling. And speaking of which, I am considered to be an evangelical Christian. That’s the label that I bear. And that’s a relatively modern term. You’re not going to find that back much in the Founding Father days or other days.

Tim:

Let me ask, if you’re considered an evangelical Christian, who considers you that? Is that what you label yourself?

David:

That’s what I’m labeled in polling. Polling would put me as an evangelical Christian. Follow the logic on this, I’m an evangelical Christian because I am one who believes in reading, living, and applying the Bible.

Tim:

You probably also believe you should go to church, which is what the Bible says. You probably also believe the Bible applies to culture and to your life.

Rick:

That’s radical stuff guys.

The Label Doesn’t Match The Fruit

David:

Tell me why every Christian doesn’t believe that because that’s what the Bible teaches. So why is it that we have to have a group, “Well these are Christians but these are Christians that believe the Bible over here.” And so we now have created a label for Christians who actually believe the Bible. We’re told that that’s 23 to 24 percent of the population thereabouts.

We’re going, “Wait a minute, three out of four Christians don’t believe the Bible?” So you get the label “Christian” and you think, “Oh, they’re one of those guys, one of the Bible thumpers.” No, three out of four are not going to be Bible thumpers.

So check the fruit. This is what George Barna, he looks at the fruit. Those who call themselves by name “Christians” they don’t believe hardly anything that’s in the Bible. I’ve taught before, I’m on a board with George Barna, he calls between 500 and 600 churches a day and they’ll ask them five-six questions and we find out that 72% of the church’s in the United States do not believe the Bible. Seventy-two percent of pastors. You have three hundred forty-four thousand senior pastors, seventy-two percent do not believe.

You’re talking about only 28 percent of those who bear the name of Christianity, which comes from the Bible, which comes from following Jesus, only one out of four of those pastors believe in the Bible.

So, the same thing has happened because when you think there’s probably no group who is more outspoken pro-life then Catholics. I mean this is an issue that they are all over. The life issue, that’s a big issue to them. Except, when you look at Catholic politicians in Washington, D.C. they’re nearly all pro-abortion. You go, “Huh? How did how did that happen?”

By the way, we’re talking about Catholic politicians who went through Catholic universities, Catholic schools. And they get in office and they’re nearly all pro-abortion. How does that happen?

Rick:

That doesn’t match the label.

David:

So you’ve got the label but then you have the fruit that they bear or the, if you will, that the consumer rating, it says they don’t write what they say they are. And so we thought Father Frank Pavone from Priest For Life, Frank can give us insight into this and how it works and what’s going on within the Catholic community, because that’s a huge pro-life, on paper. That’s a huge pro-life force. So how does this happen? Father Frank Pavone maybe can give us that answer.

Rick:

Stay with us folks, Father Frank Pavone from Priest for Life, when we return on WallBuilders Live.

America’s History

This is David Barton with another moment from America’s history. In several decisions, over recent years the Supreme Court has consistently ruled that it is unconstitutional for the government to encourage religion.

Did our Founding Fathers agree with this? Consider the words of Henry Lawrence, a signer of the Constitution, and a president of Congress. Henry Lawrence declared, “I had the honor of being one who framed that Constitution, in order effectually to accomplish these great ends set forth in the Constitution. It is especially the duty of those who bear rule to promote and encourage respect for God and virtue and to discourage every degree of vice and immorality.”

Founding Father Henry Lawrence believed that the goals of the Constitution could not be fulfilled apart from a fear and a respect for God and that it was, therefore, the duty of government to encourage this among the people. For more information on God’s hand in American history. Contact WallBuilders at 1 800 8 REBUILD.

This Issue Needs To Be The Priority

Rick:

Welcome back, thanks for staying with us here on WallBuilders Live! It’s been too long, glad to have him back, Father Frank Pavone back with us. Good to have you, Sir.

Frank:

Oh, thank you, good to be back.

Rick:

We saw an article about this most of these members of Congress went to Catholic colleges are pro-abortion and trying to figure out how that happened. We thought we’d get an explanation from you on that. Then also, just want to catch up with you, see what you’ve got happening in 2017.

Frank:

Sure, gladly. Unfortunately, it was not a surprise to me to see this report from our friends over there at the Cardinal Newman Society. We see it in a number of levels. Whether it’s, “Oh these were Catholic educated people that vote pro-abortion.” But you look at the United States, they have the largest proportion of Catholics in the population and they’re all blue states. They vote for pro-abortion candidates from the president on down.

It reminds me of the scripture when Jesus said, “On the judgment day, a lot of people are going to say to him, ‘Well, you ate in our company, you preached on our streets.’ and he’s going to say, ‘I never knew you.’”

It doesn’t matter if I was in close proximity to you. What matters is did you listen and obey me? And a lot of these folks, people drive into the abortion facilities with their rosary beads hanging from their windshield or a cross around their neck.

Where you went to school, what symbols you have, or even what church you go to, the bottom line is deeper than that. This is what is going to determine if somebody is pro-life or not, or is able to stand up for the courage of their convictions in the public arena. And it is how committed are you in spirit to Christ the Lord, the Lord of life?

One of the things we also find is that even in these institutions, and this is one of the reasons why Priest for Life had to come about as a ministry within the Catholic Church, is that even in the institutions, whether their schools or the Parish Churches.

The fact that the church has the right teaching on abortion, which of course, the Catholic Church and many other Christian churches do when they reject child killing.  The fact is the issue is not treated with the priority attention that it deserves. With the sense of urgency.

I think that’s what mostly accounts for this phenomenon. You’ve got people, sure they’re learning the Catholic teaching, but they’re learning the teaching on 100 different issues. Important issues, good stuff, the right teaching, but where’s the priority? What’s the thing you sacrifice for the most? What’s number one on the to-do list? It’s got to be the right to life.

Without that, we don’t have any other rights. And that’s where I find it gets really confused, the message gets lost. Not about whether abortion is wrong or not. But about, “What is the number one urgent priority?”

That’s what we at Priests for Life try to do within the churches is to say, “Listen, we got the right teaching but come on let’s give it a little more oomph, a little more attention and priority.

Defunding of Planned Parenthood

Rick:

And that was one of my main questions for you. If these are the results, does this mean that they’re not even teaching the church’s position on this? Or you’re saying they are teaching it?

It’s almost like because it’s not a priority, students are coming out of there going into professional life like this, becoming senators and representatives, and because that was never really a priority that was pounded into them, the political pressure or whatever, they change their position.

Frank:

Yeah, it’s more commonly the second thing, you do have some really bad theology going on out there. I mean, you do have professors that will teach, “Well, abortion is wrong but sometimes it can be allowed.” Or they’ll be outright abortion supporters, you do have some of those even in these Catholic institutions.

I think the bigger problem is people misinterpret things like what the church calls “the consistent ethic of life.” Which is basically meant to say, “Hey, human life is always sacred at every stage of development. All the life issues are connected.

Well, of course, these are connected. It’s a big difference between fixing the sidewalk so that people don’t fall and get hurt or even die versus the massive slaughter of children in the womb that we see going on with abortion. You can say both are pro-life issues in the sense that they’re inspired by your respect for life.  But my goodness, if people can’t see the difference there, something is fundamentally wrong.

Rick:

It’s interesting you say that though because I remember a few years ago I was out campaigning in a presidential race and I can’t remember if it was McCain, Obama, or Romney, Obama. But I remember the person saying to me when I was talking about the life issue, “Well, no President Obama’s actually pro-life because he wants to bring our troops home or something to that effect.” It was that same thing. Well, wait a minute. You can’t really put these on the same levels.

If a guy says it’s ok to kill a baby but yet I want to bring the troops home so they don’t have the risk of losing their lives serving the country. I just can’t see how you can say that pro-life.

There’s a big difference about this phenomenon. The two pro-life senators identified in this in this list of the ones that went to these Jesuit educated universities. The Republicans and they’re from the states of Wyoming and Arkansas.

Rick:

Those are the ones that are pro-life?

Frank:

Yes. So there’s the other dynamics here that are going on, it’s not just what is or isn’t, going on in there in the schools where they were educated. But my goodness, they’re not representing people they’re representing states that are solidly pro-life. And they belong to a party that is solidly pro-life.

I think the basic explanation of what’s going on here, besides what we said already, is the simple fact that the party positions could not be more opposite between the Republicans or Democrats on abortion.

Democratic Party has become the party of death, vigorously so. And the pressure that is put on the members of Congress of the Democratic Party to be supporters of abortion and of abortion funding even of late term abortion is just absolutely incredible and it’s totally absurd.

That has nothing to do with the authentic principles of Democratic Party, I mean if you’re talking about standing up for the poor and the weak and the marginalized. Great, well then that means you stand up for the most poor, the weakest, and the most marginalized, not that you stand against them.

So you know, the party has to really ,the Democratic Party, has to change on this issue.

Rick:

And defining all the things you talk about including even defending the selling of baby parts. Before I let you go, quick update on what’s coming up in 2017 for Priest for Life?

Frank:

Priest for Life, we’re working hard on the key priorities in the pro-life movement. Getting our Supreme Court nominee confirmed that the president’s pick for the Supreme Court-

Rick:

I assume you think it was a good pick?

Frank:

Very good. Secondly, of course, the defunding of Planned Parenthood and then some key legislative initiatives we will be working hard on getting rid of the Johnson Amendment and getting babies protected who can feel pain in the womb. Those are going to be two of the key pieces of legislation that will be working with in the months to come.

Rick:

I love it. Thank you for all your great work, PriestForLife.org and PriestForLife.com. Go to that website to find out more to contribute to get on the email list. They’re always doing great work out there. God bless you, Sir.  Really appreciate your time coming on today.

Frank:

Great to be with you, thanks.

Rick:

Folks, be right back with David and Tim Barton.

DVD On Common Core

David:

Hi, friends! This is David Barton of WallBuilders. The current condition of education in America is abysmal. Not only is educational achievement plummeting, but every year, some 19 percent of high school seniors who graduate is completely illiterate. They can’t read at all but it was not always this way.

For generations, we taught students how to think. But after the progressives took over education in the early 20th century, things began to radically change. Education shifted from thinking to learning, which made the emphasis on the teachers rather than the students. And that elevated indoctrination above knowledge.

At that time, progressives also made massive changes in the way we tested students. They extended school from 8 to 12 years. They introduced graded education and they added compulsory education. Statistics prove that these changes have harmed education rather than helped it. And now the progressives are pushing common core.

In our new DVD on common core, we give you eight reasons why this current approach is so dangerous to our kids and our culture. We also show you an amazing history of education. So get this new DVD at WallBuilders.com.

Pastors, Speak Up On Political Issues

Rick:

Thanks for staying with us here on WallBuilders Live. Back with David and Tim Barton now. Thanks to Father Frank Pavone and the great work Priest for Life does. Just great organization and we love being able to work with Father Frank. In fact, we’ve had him at Pastor’s briefings and other WallBuilders events.

David:

He is great and I love the fact that he did not make any apologies at all for the failure of these guys to live up to their Catholic faith. I mean, he laid it out there, Luke 6 Jesus will say to them, “I never knew you. You didn’t listen obey me.”

That was hard stuff. It’s exactly the same thing I would say about Protestants who are not living their faith. And that’s why I love Frank here so straight, so Bible, so clear on this stuff, and so uncompromising.

As he pointed out, why do you need a Priest for Life and the Catholic Church? The whole church is for life. Yeah, but they don’t have the right priorities. They don’t necessarily push the right things. And so that’s why he exists with Priest for Life.

Tim:

And Rick, I thought that was an interesting question you asked. “Why perhaps are there Catholics who don’t have these right positions?” You gave him a few options. In the midst of it he said, “You know, I think the right doctrine is being communicated, maybe not emphasized enough and I really can’t speak to a lot of the Catholic Church of how their doctrine is being communicated. But if I just look at the modern Christian church as a measurement. And you look at the fact that there’s only 28 percent of pastors that believe the entirety of Scripture and out of that 28 percent that believes the entirety of Scripture less than 10 percent teaches the entirety of scripture.

David:

And that’s 10 percent of the 28 percent.

Tim:

Right, that smaller group. So, 3 percent of pastors in the US who believe that they need to teach the entirety of Scripture and so even if you have in your church’s fundamental doctrine,” Yeah we believe that.” –

David:

By the way, let me say, the entirety of scripture as it applies to modern culture. Because they’ll do a verse by verse but they’ll never apply to anything going on. So that 10 percent were those who are willing to take the scripture and apply it to life right now.

Tim:

Which by the way, if you’re familiar with the New Testament, if you look at the 13 epistles just for example, why did Paul write those epistles? To help the believers know how to live the life that God called them live based on what they were dealing with at that time in their cities, in their community, under the leadership they were under.

So, everything Paul did was practical application. But, again, this goes back to the idea that they believe the Bible applies to what we do in life.

So, if you’re a schoolteacher, the Bible applies to how you teach school. If you are a roofer, a mechanic, if you’re whatever you are, the Bible gives guidance for how you should do that.

One of the problems we have in the modern Christian church in America is we don’t teach things that we know to be true. We can’t get pastors even the ones that say they believe it to teach it. And I wondered, I think Father Frank alluded to it, is that maybe they just don’t emphasize it enough. Maybe you have a priest that believes the right thing but how you can have Catholics who don’t believe basic fundamental doctrines, like this is part of being a Catholic. This is one of the huge things that you base your whole belief on. But even practically how he pointed out, and we’ve mentioned it many times on our show and in presentations, that life is the most primary issue and if you don’t get life right then you’re going to miss on all the other rights that we’re supposed to defend.

This is where I think this is the issue if whatever denomination you go to we have to get our pastors back to speaking about the issues based on what the Bible says. We need to call on our pastors and say, “Hey, we need to know what the Bible says about these issues.” Because if the doctrine is sound if our church has this belief, we need to know what that says, we need those teachings.

Go Back To The Word Of God

Rick:

Especially, like we say at the beginning of our program every day, the hot topic or the thing that is pressing in the culture. It’s kind of like all those sermons you have there in the WallBuilders library, I mean whatever was happening in the culture, that’s what the pastor said, “Ok, well, here’s something that’s on the minds of the congregation, it’s in the news, it’s out there in the culture. And so we need to go to that Biblical perspective and say, “What does the Bible say about this particular issue?” Instead of kind of just ignoring it because you might offend, or you it might not be popular, or whatever reason. You know it’s responding to the need.

Tim:

And that’s exactly what Father Frank Pavone has done with helping bring this life issue to the forefront even in the Catholic community, which seems like of the issues that different denominations garden defend, the Catholics have done a better job with life than really arguably almost any other denomination you can name.

But even the Catholics have not done as well as you would think they ought to based on the fact that such it’s such a fundamental tenet. But that does go back to where pastors used to be very relevant.
When you look in the founding era, whatever was happening, what does the word of God say? And deals with this issue. That’s what we have to get back to because whatever we’re dealing with in culture, whether it’s who should use what bathroom, or how I should treat my spouse, or raise my kids, or deal with my boss. The word of God gives us guidance and we need our pastors or priest in this case to speak to those issues so we know exactly what the Bible says and how it applies to our life.

Rick:

And you never know that that person in your church or in your Sunday school class, or in this case, in your college where they’re being taught is going to become the one with the power and the influence to make the biggest difference.

So here we are talking about senators and congressmen that could do the most about the life issue in America and yet they came through a Catholic college and ended up somehow not being pro-life.

So might be the same thing. You might have a kid on the front pew of your church that somebody is going to be that Governor or that member of Congress could make a big difference on these very important Biblical issues. Thanks for listening today folks, you’ve been listening WallBuilders Live!