Legislating Morality And Tolerance. Dr. Frank Turek”s presents at the Pro-Family Legislators Conference and teaches how to answer controversial questions, discusses tolerance, and the importance of Christians being involved in politics.
Air Date: 12/15/2016
Guests: Dr. Frank Turek, CrossExaminied.org
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Transcription note: Â As a courtesy for our listeners’ enjoyment, we are providing a transcription of this podcast. Â 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.
Legislating Morality (part 1)
You”ve found yourself at the intersection of faith and the culture. Â This is WallBuilders Live! Where we’re discussing today’s hottest topics on policy, faith, and culture from a Biblical, historical, and constitutional perspective. Your hosts are David Barton, America’s premier historian, Tim Barton, national speaker and pastor. Â And my name is Rick Green, former Texas state representative.
Frank Turek With CrossExamined.org
WallBuilders is a national pro-family organization that presents America’s forgotten history and heroes with an emphasis on our religious moral and constitutional heritage. Today we are taking you to a very special program. Â It is going to be a two part program with Frank Turek of CrossExamined.org. He was just at our Pro-Family Legislators Conference in Dallas, Texas. A lot of state reps and senators and others from across the country came in together to share ideas.
Frank Turek was one of their special speakers. Dr. Turek is an absolutely dynamic speaker. We’ve had him at Patriot Academy. Â We love him. Â He does fantastic work. You need to get the Cross Examined app. But we wanted to share his presentation with you so we’re going to go there now. You’re not going to be able to get it all in today. Â So also make sure you listen tomorrow. Here’s Frank Turek at the Pro-Family Legislators Conference.
Prager University Is A Wonderful Resource.
Good morning, ladies and gentlemen. What I’m going to say this morning is extremely controversial. So, it’s absolutely critical that you listen closely because I don’t want you walking out of here thinking I said something I did not say. If you don’t listen closely, the results can be disastrous. So what are you guys thinking about?
A lot after Dennis Prager. Isn’t he great? By the way, I know he probably mentioned this. I came in a few minutes after he started. Prager University is a wonderful resource of these very short videos that he and others have produced. And if you go to Prager University, you can watch these and send them around the Internet because they’re very good. Â They’re very precise.
David Barton Was On With Rush Limbaugh
Also, I want to give a shout out to David Barton because I live in Charlotte, North Carolina, just south of Charlotte. And in the days leading up to the election, David was on the radio on the Rush Limbaugh Show doing commercials about how Christians needed to vote. And I think it made a difference. So that’s what we need to do.
Now, there’s two things you’re never supposed to talk about in polite company. They are? Religion and politics. Â It turns out, those are about the only two things worth talking about. I mean if you think about it, how are we going to live now- politics. Â And how are we going to live in eternity- if there is such a place?
Religion And Politics:Â The Only 2 Things Worth Talking About
Well, when we get involved in these very, very controversial subjects. I have a suggestion as to how you can win the day with one question. And Â with this one question, I think you can trot out when somebody asks you your opinion on a controversial topic. I know as politicians, you’re going to be asked these things quite frequently.
Two Questions To Ask In A Very Controversial Conversation.
Here is the question you ought to ask in return when you’re asked a question about a controversial issue. Do you consider yourself a tolerant person?
Now what does, the other person going to say especially if they’re on the left? “Of course, I’m a tolerant person.” So what you can say at that point is, “Great. If I give my opinion and it differs from yours, you will tolerate it then, won’t you?”
See, what you’ve done is you’ve just de-fanged them. You’ve just beaten them at their own game because if they’re going to call for tolerance then that means they need to tolerate you. So when they ask you, “What do you think about same sex marriage? What do you think about abortion? What do you think about transgendered bathroom? What do you think about all these things?”
<Reply With:> Do you consider yourself a tolerant person? And see what they say.
By the way, this is a quote from my my friend Greg Koukl”s book, and it is a book you need to avail yourself of if you don’t have it. It’s called “Tactics,” by Greg Koukl. That book will give you a lot of ammunition on how to successfully navigate conversationally in the public square. So check out that book “Tactics”.This is a question that comes from that book, “Do you consider yourself a tolerant person?”.
Now, I do have a warning for this particular program. Â This particular program in the next 45 minutes is rated PG 13. In fact, that’s ok because the election was rated R. So you guys are right with me on this and I hope to be correct rather than politically correct. Â Is that ok?
A New Religion In America: Â Sex
Let me submit to you, that there is a new religion in America. What is the new religion in America? This is the interactive portion of the program. <Laughter.> Do we have a coherent answer here? The new religion in America is the religion of sex. You notice that every major cultural issue we argue over is somehow related to sex? Abortion, same sex marriage, contraception being paid for by the government, and abortion being paid for by the government. Now we’re arguing over what bathrooms to use.You see, if there is no God the only transcendent experience you can have is sex. And that’s their religion now. It’s the religion of sex.
Most people are not on a truth quest, Â They”re on a happiness quest. And what they’re going to do is suppress the truth as Paul says in Romans 1 to try and get happiness. Â And we have to call them out on that in a winsome way. I love what Dennis just said, “I don’t care whether or not there were gays in the founding of the country or Jews in the founding of the country. The question is, is it true?”
Get Back To Truth
We have to get back to truth. The new religion in America, the religion of sex is a religion of the sword. Which means if you cross them, they will hurt you. Or at least attempt to. And we’ll see that as we go through this presentation here.
But I want to start on the religion of sex. Â Back in the United States Senate in 2003. Â Thirteen years ago Senator Sam Brownback who is now the governor of Kansas, a great pro-lifer, showed a fetus, a baby who is 21 weeks in the womb, spared abortion by doctors who operated on this baby in the womb. Â Turned out the boy was later born. His name was Samuel. Â Here’s an actual picture. Â As you can see it, the hand coming out of the womb there. That’s the finger of the doctor. This is at 21 weeks in the womb. If you want a more dramatic picture there it is.
Do You Have to Be A Doctor Or God To Know A Baby Is A Human Being?
Now on the Senate floor, Sam Brownback asked this question, “Is little Samuel’s hand the hand of a person?” (He was pointing to the photograph.) “Or is it a hand of a piece of property?” Barbara Boxer, whose name has already come up today from California. Â The Senator from California said this back to Senator Brownback, “I am not a doctor and I am not God. I trust other human beings to make these decisions.”
Question, do you have to be a doctor or God to know that that’s a human being? And what do you mean, “she’s trusting other people to make those decisions?” She’s a lawmaker. That’s what lawmakers do. They make decisions on issues like this.
Now thankfully, she is no longer going to be in the Senate. I don’t know if- I’m sure the person who is replacing her won’t be much better. But the point here is is that that’s a human being and everybody knows it. But they suppress the truth because the religion of sex is causing them to do so.
Can We Legislate Morality? Â Would Jesus Be Involved In Politics?
So here’s our agenda today. Can we legislate morality? First of all, should Christians be involved in politics? We’ll cover that first. Secondly, can we legislate morality? What about the separation of church and state? You hear that quite a bit. Thirdly, what are the stakes? And finally, what can you do specifically. Â And I want to honor every one of you in here today because you actually decided to get in the game rather than sit on the sidelines.
In fact, I was talking to a friend of mine in Texas last night. I said, “How much did Texas representatives get paid?” He said, “Seven thousand dollars a year.” Obviously, they’re not in it for the money. Do we have any Texas reps in here? Â Is that true? Seven thousand dollars a year? 14? Oh, you got a raise. Oh ok. I mean thank you for sacrificing to make a difference. Â
So, let’s start right here at point one. Should Christians be involved in politics? I know a lot of Christians will say, “Well no. Â We just got to preach the gospel. Â Let’s not get involved in politics. That’s dirty. Let’s just, let’s just preach the gospel.”
Are Atheists The Only Ones Qualified To Run The Country?
And when people say that to me I normally take out my iPhone and I show them this picture. Anyone know what this is? That’s the Korean Peninsula. Now you might ask yourself, “Why is there a difference between South Korea and North Korea?” South Korea is filled with the gospel. It’s one of the more Christianized countries in the world. It has all sorts of freedoms as you can see. It’s very productive.
North Korea, on the other hand, has a concentration camp. There’s one major reason for the difference between South and North Korea. What is it? <Crowd responds.> Nope. Nope. Nope. Nope. You’re in it. Politics! The South has political and religious freedom. The North does not. Â And in fact, if you think about this, politics affects everything you do.
Politics affects your church, your family, your health, your money, your business, your freedom, your property, your school, your home, your security, your safety, the poor, the unborn, everyone, and everything. Politics affects this building we’re in right now. Politics affects the church rules that you have at your church. Â How do you build a church? What can you say in there. Â What can’t you say in there? Politics affects everything you do.
The laws that are made in your localities ,in your state governments, and in Washington affect everything we do every day. Why shouldn’t Christians be involved? Are only atheists qualified to run the country? Where does that come from? In fact, when you really think about it, what is the purpose of government? Why do we have a government at all?
The Role of the Government, Biblically. Â
Well Paul actually tells us in Romans Chapter 13 he says, “Government is the servant of God to execute wrath on the wrongdoer and the number one role of government, responsibility of government is to protect innocent people from evil. The second responsibility of government is to ensure that the government itself doesn’t do evil upon its people.”
So protect from evil and then don’t do evil yourself. Unfortunately, in our government in recent years we’ve inverted those. Now, we are actually promoting evil and not protecting our citizens from evil. So we need to make a difference. And by the way, ironically, the very fact that we need government is because we’re fallen human beings. There’s not been a more pithy thing said about government than James Madison who said this, “If men were angels, no government would be necessary.”
What do you think would happen if tomorrow all law enforcement said for the next 24 hours there will be no law enforcement and anything you do in the next 24 hours will never be prosecuted. What do you think would happen? Would Best Buy survive? Would the Lexus dealership survive? How many people would be raped, murdered, or tortured? Â You think we’re inherently good? No, we’re not. We’re inherently evil and we need good people and government to protect innocent people from evil. That is the very purpose of government.
If Hillary Clinton Had Won, Our School Would Not Exist In Five Years.
Now some people will say again, “We should just be involved with spreading the gospel.” I agree, we have to be involved in spreading the gospel. But if politics prevents you from legally spreading the gospel, don’t you think we ought to be involved in politics to allow ourselves to spread the gospel?
Of course. And by the way, we’ve got at least a four year reprieve it looks like. Because if Hillary Clinton had won the White House religious freedom was going to continue to go away. In fact, I was at Prestonwood Academy yesterday speaking to students and faculty there. One of the guys at Prestonwood Academy who runs their World View Conference there, he said to me, and I think he’s right. Â He said, “If Hillary Clinton had won, our school would not exist in five years. Because they would be forcing us to put in homosexual curricula, transgendered bathrooms, all these things we couldn’t in good conscious do.”
Now you might say, “Jesus never got involved in politics.” Nonsense. Who are the politicians in Jesus’s day? The Pharisees. They were not just religious leaders. They were the political leaders. Many of them were on the Sanhedrin, the Jewish ruling council. And here’s what Jesus said to the Pharisees. He said, “Woe, to you teachers of the law and pharisees. You hypocrites, you give a tenth of your spices mint, dill, and cumin but you have neglected the more important matters of the law. Justice, mercy, and faithfulness. You should practice the latter without neglecting the former you blind guides. Â You straightened out a gnat to swallow a camel.” He’s telling the politicians you’re majoring in the minors. You’re not majoring in the majors.
God Can Draw A Straight Line With A Crooked Stick
And you know in our country now we’re telling people what lightbulbs they have to use but we’re allowing them to kill their children. Are we majoring in the minors? ( Crowd says yes.) Â Exactly.
That’s why we need you right where you are in government. By the way, it’s very hard to be faithful when faithfulness is illegal. I mean you can do it but you’re going to pay a price for it. You say, “Oh Frank come on you know that the church grows under persecution.” No it doesn’t. Don’t tell me the church is thriving in North Korea because it’s not. Sometimes it does but not always. And we don’t wish evil so good may result. We fight evil at all costs.
Can God get his will done through evil? Yes, he does everyday. God can draw a straight line with a crooked stick but that doesn’t mean that we wish evil. That doesn’t mean we lay down and go, “Great, evil is coming.” Which means the church is going to grow. It might grow. It might not.
The Citizen’s Guide To America’s Constitution
Have you ever wanted to learn more about the United States Constitution but just felt like man, the classes are boring? Or it’s just that old language from 200 years ago? Or I don’t know where to start? People want to know. But it gets frustrating because you don’t know where to look for truth about the Constitution, either. Â Well, we’ve got a special program for you available now called Constitution Alive with David Barton and Rick Green. Â
And it’s actually a teaching done on the Constitution at Independence Hall in the very room where the Constitution was framed. We take you both to Philadelphia the Cradle of Liberty and Independence Hall and to the WallBuilders” library where David Barton brings the history to life to teach the original intent of our Founding Fathers.
We call it the QuickStart guide to the Constitution because in just a few hours through these videos you will learn the citizen’s guide to America’s Constitution. Â You’ll learn what you need to do to help save our Constitutional Republic. It’s fun, it’s entertaining, and it’s going to inspire you to do your part to preserve freedom for future generations. It’s called Constitution Alive with David Barton and Rick Green. You can find out more information on our website now at WallBuilders.com
The Second Question To Ask In A Very Controversial Conversation
We’re to do what’s right and leave the results to God. All right, second question. Â I think the answer tentatively to question one is, “Yes.” Tentatively ok, you with me? Of course, it’s yes.
Second question is this, “Can we legislate morality?” And quite frequently here well, there’s a separation of church and state here and we can’t impose a religion on people. Let me submit to you this is a fallacy. It’s a fallacy. And Chesterton was great about fallacies. It’s very fashionable to say, “Oh it’s the separation of church and state, it is a state issue. Or if you’re a Christian you’re trying to impose a theocracy put a theocracy on us.”
That’s a fallacy. And Chesterton said this. “Fallacies do not cease being fallacies when they become fashions. Fallacies do not cease becoming fallacies or cease being fallacies when they become fashions.”
It’s very fashionable to talk about the ocracy and separation of church and state. Those things are fallacies. We’re not trying to set up a national church and we are not trying to set up a theocracy. In fact, a separation of church and state is not the issue. It has nothing to do with church and state. The issue is not religion. The issue is morality.
So can we legislate morality?
All laws legislate morality. The only question is whose morality. We’re not telling people you have to be a part of a certain church or you have to adhere to certain rights and rituals. We’re not telling people how or when or if to worship or be involved in any particular religious activity.
Legislating Religion Has To Do With Our Duty To God. Â But Legislating Morality Has To Do With Our Duty To One Another.
But we can’t avoid telling people how they ought to treat one another. You see, legislating religion has to do with our duty to God. But legislating morality has to do with our duty to one another. We can avoid legislating religion but we can’t avoid legislating morality. Every law declares one behavior right in the opposite behavior wrong. You can’t think of a law which doesn’t declare one behavior right and the opposite wrong. Speed limits even imply a moral right to life. That’s why we have speed limits. Â
So every law legislates morality. The only question is whose morality. I’ll get to that in a minute. But if you think about this: morality is legislated on abortion, same sex marriage, no fault divorce. Every issue is a legislation of morality. Â No matter what side on the abortion issue you’re on, your legislating morality. The left says a woman has a what? A moral right to choose. That’s a moral position. I say, and I hope you agree, that the baby has a moral right to life and the right to life is the right to all of the rights. Â If you don’t have life, you don’t have anything when there’s a conflict between supposed rights. Life takes precedence over choice. Whatever that means. A choice to do what?
Everything In Law Is A Legislation Of Morality.
So everything in law is a legislation of morality. Oh sure there may be some laws like, you know, how many representatives do you have in your particular Congress. That’s not necessarily a moral law but you have a moral obligation to obey it once it’s passed. But the things we argue over abortion, marriage, these kinds of issues, the”re are all moral issues. If you hear that you’re going to hear this a lot, “You know you shouldn’t impose your moral views on others.” Â What would you say to somebody who said that?
This is actually known as a self-defeating statement. What’s a self-defeating statement? A statement that doesn’t meet its own standard. Like if I were to say in English, “I can’t speak a word in English.” What would you say? “Yeah. Didn’t you just say that in English?” If I were to say, “There is no truth.” You’d say, “Is that true? Is it true that there is no truth? Â Because if it’s true that there is no truth, to claim there is no truth can’t be true, but it claims to be true.”
Did I say that right? I know that can give you intellectual constipation if you think about it long enough but that’s because it’s self-defeating. It’s like saying, “I can’t speak a word in English.” You know what else is self-defeating? “You ought not judge.” Why is that self-defeating? What would you say to somebody who says, “You ought not judge?” “Then why are you judging me for judging?”
Is Jesus telling us not to judge?
See, Jesus didn’t say, “Don’t judge.” He said, “Judge not, lest you be judged.” By the same standard you judge others, you”ll be judged by that standard. So before you try to take the speck out of your brother”s eye, take the log out your own eye first. Then you’ll be better able to help your brother.”
Is Jesus telling us not to judge here? No, he’s telling us to take the speck of our brother’s eye. That involves making a judgment. Â He’s simply saying, get that problem out of your life first, so you can better help your brother. So this is not a command not to judge. It’s a command on how to judge. Â Don’t judge hypocritically. In fact, Jesus in John 7:24 says, “Stop judging by mere appearances and make a right judgment.”
We have to make a right judgment. That’s what we take an oath of office to do. To judge rightly. To support it if you’re in the United States Congress to support and defend the Constitution against all enemies foreign and domestic. Â
Sometimes the enemies are domestic. Any veterans in here? Give these folks a hand, ladies and gentlemen. Â Â You know, when you go in the military you take an oath to support and defend the Constitution against all enemies foreign and domestic .You don’t take an oath to the president. You take an oath to defend, support Â and defend the Constitution.
This is also self-defeating, “You ought not impose your moral views on others.” Why? Because as you can see, “Is that your moral view?” That person is trying to impose Her moral view on Him? You can’t avoid imposing moral views. The only question is whose moral view.
Now when people say don’t impose your morality on me. After I say, “Why not? Â Would that be a moral?” Â I’ll say, “I don’t want to impose morality on you and I don’t want you to impose YOUR morality on me. I want to impose THE morality.” Look, this isn’t my morality. I didn’t make this stuff up. I didn’t make up the fact that murder is wrong, that abortion is wrong, that theft is wrong, that rape is wrong, that men were made for women and women were made for men. And the only way to perpetuate and stabilize society is to value and celebrate that one sexual relationship over every other sexual relationship.
I didn’t make this stuff up. This isn’t my morality. If you’ve got a problem with THE morality, you don’t have a problem with me. You have the problem with the Creator who set it up this way. His nature is goodness. That’s why Thomas Jefferson said, “We hold these truths to be self-evident that people are endowed by their Creator.” See, rights come from God. It’s amazing to me there are people out there protesting on the street right now about the Trump election. I want to ask them and I’ll talk about this on radio tomorrow. What’s your standard by which you are protesting? What are you upset about? What injustice has been done?
Many of these people out there are atheists. Â Do you realize that if atheism is true, there is no right to anything? Which means you have no right to be upset about anything. Which means you have no standard by which to protest anything. Â If there’s no God, if everything is just a matter of opinion, if there is no standard of righteousness out there, then there’s no right to anything.
“Stealing From God:” Why Atheists Need God To Make Their Case.
There’s not only no right to abortion, there’s no right to life. That’s why I have a new book called “Stealing From God” which is not about tithing. The book “Stealing From God” – the subtitle is: Why atheists need God to make their case. I’ve noticed that when atheists are arguing for certain rights they have to steal from God’s universe in order to say certain things are right. Because if God doesn’t exist there’s no such thing as a right. Everything’s a matter of opinion. On one hand, they’re saying, “There is no God.” Â On the other hand, they’re saying, “I”ve got all these rights.”
You Don”t Have Rights If There Is No God
Well, look ,you don’t have rights if there is no God. So if you want to have rights you’ve got to have God. Don’t steal from him and say he doesn’t exist. So the bottom line to this is say, “Look I’m not trying to impose my morality. I’m trying to impose THE morality. And I didn’t make any of this up. So it’s not mine. I’m not the moral, moral arbiter of the universe.
What are the stakes. Why? Why is politics so important? Let me ask you a question.
Who is this? Who is it ? Britney Spears” picture from maybe about 10 years ago. Now Britney Spears got into a lot of trouble for this picture. Â Why? No car seat. She is a moral monster. Now I don’t know about you, but when I was growing up my dad did this with me all the time. I grew up on the Jersey Shore. Â And Bruce Springsteen actually had a song about -My dad would put me on his lap and I’d steer through town. Â Nobody ever called my dad a moral monster because I was driving the car on his lap. Â
In fact, you guys remember this if you’re old enough to remember. Â When you used to get in that wood sided station wagon and go cross-country with your parents. Â And kids would be crawling all over the car never buckled in. Â And your dad would turn around sometimes and go, “If you kids don’t knock it off them to come back there and knock a few heads together.” Right?
And nobody ever thought you were a moral monster. Now, if you don’t strap the kid in like he’s in the space shuttle, somehow, you’re a moral monster. What changed? Why do we think that now?
Because the law changed. We saw too many kids get hurt, so we passed a law and after a while people said, “Hey, there’s a law against this. Â It’s wrong not to buckle your kid in.
Many People Think: Whatever Is Legal Is Moral Or Whatever Is Illegal Is Immoral
What’s the moral of the story here? The moral of story is the law is a great teacher. Many people think whatever is legal is moral or whatever is illegal is immoral and this is the danger which certain leftist laws–
Out of time for today folks.
That was Frank Turek. Dr. Frank Turek at the Pro-Family Legislators Conference. Share with our folks check out CrossExamined.Org. You’ve been listening to WallBuilders Live!. Tomorrow we’ll get the conclusion of his presentation.