Values Voter Summit- Exposing Religious Liberty Violations: In today’s episode, we will be interviewing Todd Starnes on how he has been able to expose religious liberty violations so well and shine a light on misconducts that otherwise would’ve been hidden. Tune in now to learn more!
Air Date: 11/08/2019
Guest: Todd Starnes
On-air Personalities: David Barton, Rick Green, and Tim Barton
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Transcription note: Â As a courtesy for our listeners’ enjoyment, we are providing a transcription of this podcast. Transcription will be released shortly. 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 or we might use an asterisk to indicate a missing word because of the difficulty in understanding the speaker at times. We apologize in advance.
Faith And The CultureÂ
Welcome to the intersection of faith and the culture. This is WallBuilders Live! Where we”re talking about today”s hottest topics on policy, faith, and the culture, always doing that from a biblical, historical, and constitutional perspective.
We’re here with David Barton, America’s premier historian and the founder of WallBuilders. Also, Tim Barton, national speaker and President of WallBuilders, and my name is Rick Green, I’m a former Texas state legislator, national speaker, and author.Â
The three of us love bringing these programs to you. We get some great interviews, and we get to talk to you about those hot topics of the day. All of it is made possible by our listeners that support the program. We hope you’re one of those, and if not, if you’d like to be, go to WallBuildersLive.com and just click on that donate button to become one of our supporters. You can do that with a one time donation or a monthly donation. We greatly appreciate your support.Â
Let’s dive into that biblical, historical, and constitutional perspective. Later in the program we”ll have Todd Starnes from an interview we did with him in Washington D.C. at the Values Voter Summit just recently. There”s many other great interviews on the website right now, WarblersLive.com, for anybody that’s missed those interviews over the last couple of weeks.Â
Values Voter Summit
We”ve had some really good ones with people like Richard Harris, Eric Metaxas, Matt Staver, Dana Lesh, John Hostettler, Jenna Ellis Reaves, Gary Bauer, Tony Perkins, and more. Dennis Prager was one—in fact, maybe one of my favorites because that’s the first time I’ve got to actually meet him in person and interview him. You guys have met him before, and we had him in the legislators conference a couple of years ago, but I didn’t get talked to him and I was kind of being a fanboy, and man… he has been a great influence on the culture in so many ways. Anyway, that”s all that available at WallBuilldersLive.com right now.Â
Another one of those guys who”s had a tremendous influence, especially the last couple of years, is Todd Starnes. We’ve had him on many times, but this is the first time we’ve got to interview him live.
He’s had a great platform on Fox because Fox had such high viewership compared to so many other networks out there have such lower viewership. As a matter of fact, not long ago CNN”s highest ranked program was still below Fox’s lowest ranked program. So Todd was one of those guys that was able, on Fox, to be able to bring things to light and expose it, and for whatever reason he seemed to be a magnet for people saying, “Hey, have you seen the crazy thing that”s happening with the school district? Or religious expression? Or this city council, or this police department, or whatever.”Â
And particularly on what we would call religious liberty type issues, people went to Todd and said, “I want you to break this story. Here’s what the teacher did. Here’s what the mayor did.”Â
Spreading the News to Defend Freedom
And Todd would break it, and just so often it would quickly be resolved because when things like that come to light a lot of people in the town or in the school say, “You did what?! No! You’re not going to do that.”Â
And so it’ll get resolved by people reacting and responding.Â
So Todd had been so good for so long as the voice on Fox, and being able to bring those things to light.Â
It turned into so many things were coming at him that he started his own radio, and he now has a radio program with hundreds of stations. So now it’s even broader than it was, because Fox had a lot of reach, but now you’re in the local communities talking about things and that expands it even more. So it has been really cool to watch as his influence has grown and grown.Â
Now he’s at the point where he is no longer with Fox, they didn’t renew his contract this time, but that’s all right. He has such a base now, and he has such an outlet across the nation with the website he has and the news articles he puts out. He is just such a good advocate for keeping America wholesome and keeping faith and freedom in it. Again, I just appreciate the fact that he was willing to bring out things that so many other news outlets would not even talk about, and how they got resolved so quickly. He has such a loyal base, and he’s he’s just a great guy to talk to.
Well Todd Starnes” our special guests. We’re going to break, when we come back we’ll be in Washington D.C. at the Values Voter Summit with Todd Starnes.
You’re listening to WallBuilders Live.
America’s Hidden History
Hi, this is David Barton.
And, this is Tim Barton, and we want to let you know about a series that’s happening right now on TBN on Thursday night. TBN is the Trinity Broadcasting Network. Every Thursday night, there’s a series that we’ve filmed called America’s Hidden History.
And, this season is called “America’s Hidden Heroes.” The reason is, we highlight heroes from American history. For years we’ve been focusing on the forgotten history and heros of the nation.
And now, we have a TV show just highlighting some of those heroes.
These are inspiring stories about some of the greatest people maybe you’ve never heard about. We go on location to the sites and show you where the events happened. It’s the stories of folks like Bronco Charlie, Stagecoach Mary, Jedediah Smith, Robert Smalls, and so many inspiring folks.
Now, this happens every Thursday night, and the time is gonna be different based on where you live. Either way, we think this is something that will so encourage and inspire you in learning some of these great stories from America’s Hidden History.
Interviewing Todd Starnes
Welcome back to WallBuilders Live! We are at the Values Voter Summit in Washington D.C., thousands of folks are gathering here, activists from all over the country.
David Barton here, Todd Starnes is with us, and you’re going to be talking all these folks. Now, when you have that many activists coming from around the country, they’re gonna go back to their communities to try to save the nation. What do you say to them?
Well, today it’s really all about me. I’m looking for a job, and so I’m just gonna put my resume out there and see what happens. See what comes up. You never know.Â
Before you answer the question about what you’re going to say to them, what is going on with Todd Starnes?
It was a great 15 years at Fox News, and I have nothing but great things to say about them. I worked with some incredible people there. We were able to tell some really important stories, and more importantly, without Fox, we would not be sitting here talking right now. So I appreciate the platform they gave me.
But we are launching impacts you had as a result of that. You brought attention to so many cultural issues that raised awareness for millions of people. That wouldn’t have happened. So thank God for that platform and that time you had there.Â
Well, I appreciate you saying that, and honestly though I think a bigger part of that is the fact that so many people would share those stories and get the get the information out there. So it was a team effort.
Starne”s Media Group
You really became the whistleblower for all these religious liberty nonsense that was going on across the nation. People felt comfortable coming to you, and you had a platform from which to put a spotlight on it.
And the good news is that platform goes with us.
About a year ago we started a company called Starnes” Media Group, and that media group is going to cover conservative news and cultural issues. We have a very large subscriber base, and we’re going to keep telling those stories. Our commentaries, which are heard on hundreds of radio stations around the country, have already started back up, and we launched our three hour talk show on November the 4th. So we’re really excited about the future and being able to continue to tell those very important stories about America and where we’re going.
Two questions on that: first of all, where can people follow you and find those?
Well, first, ToddStarnes.com. It’s our one stop shopping there. So all links to everything we do is there on that website.Â
The second thing you mentioned earlier other people sharing it. That’s even more important now. That’s kind of a new way people are getting their information on news anyway. So getting those stories from your website and sharing it, that’s huge.
Early on, when we launched the Facebook page, one of the one of the important things we did—and it took a lot of time, this was really laborious, but it’s paying off dividends now—on our Facebook page, we intentionally routed out all of the trolls, and the leftists, and so what we were left with was pretty much as pure as could possibly be—for lack of a better term—fan base, but a group of people that were genuinely concerned about the issues.
That’s why even though there are some folks that have 2 or 3 million followers on Facebook, their engagement numbers are very low. We’ve got 265,000 fans, and those are rock solid fans, and so we’ll get a 1 million, 2 million engagement based on that smaller number. So it’s work. It is so important to have that base of support to get out there and tell those stories.
Alright. Now, what are you going to tell the folks here as they go back home?
Oh my goodness, I’m really excited about this. Guys, I have have a new speech. It’s based off of my new book that just came out called Culture Jihad: How to Stop the Left from Killing a Nation.Â
This is really going to be a rally cry for folks. We’ve been looking at these attacks on religious freedom, we’ve been looking at the attacks on the Second Amendment, and the attacks on free speech, and in the book we show people why these three specific things are under attack.Â
How the Left is Working Towards Socialism
We’re going to talk about that today. The reason why they’re under attack is that we are facing a very dangerous issue in this country, the rise of socialism, and socialism cannot take root in this country if you have a Second Amendment, free speech, and religious freedom. When you take those out of the equation, socialism doesn’t just come creeping in, it comes roaring in. The left knew they had to attack there in order to accomplish a long term goal. And they’ve been doing this.Â
The name of the book is Culture Jihad. We should have called it Stealth Jihad, because what they did was they infiltrated the school systems generations ago. Many people don’t realize that the country is going to be taken over without anyone firing a shot.
Yeah. They’ve been successful. I hate to admit that, but they’ve been very successful in that arena. We’ve been pushing back for what? Would you say maybe 20 years? They’ve been at it for 80. We’ve been pushing back for 20 years, and we’re starting to gain ground where we didn’t in the past, because of voices like yours. So this book hopefully can help with that.
What you guys are doing here is so vitally important. Our kids are being taught to hate America. They’re being taught a distorted view of our history. We have to we have to fight back, which is why your ministry is so important because you’re telling those stories. We’ve got to get that out there.Â
A couple of years ago I was watching this documentary, and that’s how it came out with the title for the book, because the Islamic radicals had re-invaded Iraq, and they targeted the museums and historical sites, and they literally turned ancient history to rubble. It was fascinating to watch.Â
Then I realized that’s exactly what’s happening in this country today. They’re tearing down the statues. They’re painting over the murals—the George Washington General mural in California—and banning books like To Kill a Mockingbird and Little House On The Prairie. Guys, this we’re not talking about conservatives doing this. We’re not talking about Christians doing this. It”s leftists who are doing this. They’re trying to silence dissent in America.Â
We’re gonna take a quick break. You’re listening to an interview with Todd Starnes at the Values Voters Summit in Washington D.C.. Stay with us, you’re listening to WallBuilders Live.
This Precarious Moment Book
This is David Barton. I want to let about a brand new book we have called This Precarious Moment: Six Urgent Steps That Will Save You, Your family, and Our Country. Jim Garlow and I have co-authored this book and we take six issues that are hot in the culture right now.Â
Issues that we’re dealing with, issues such as immigration, race relations, our relationship with Israel, the rising generation Millennials, and the absence of the church in the culture wars, and where American heritage is, our godly heritage. We look at all six of those issues right now that are under attack and we give you both Biblical and historical perspective on those issues that provide solutions on what each of us can do right now to make a difference.Â
These are all problems that are solvable if we’ll get involved. So, you can grab the book This Precarious Moment and find out what you can do to make a difference. This Precarious Moment is available at WallBuilders.com.
Comedians Standing Against the Left
I was watching a special—I don’t know if I should mention this, so if I shouldn”t, David, you can hit me on the head or something if it’s inappropriate.Â
That’s the good thing about actually having him with us instead of calling in like you normally do.Â
We’ve been infiltrated by the left, so we don’t support free speech, and we’re not going to let you say that.
Someone listening is going to put me on the church prayer list, but I was watching Dave Chappelle. The Dave Chappelle comedy special on Netflix—
This interview is over.
I don’t recommend it. I don’t I don’t recommend any Baptist watching it. Some of you Methodists”¦ well, OK. Definitely not good for the Baptist crowd. But Dave Chappelle, the reason I wanted to watch this is because he was talking about the free speech issues and how we’re in this cancel culture now, where it’s not just, “It”s OK to disagree with someone,” now it”s, “That person is guilty of hate speech and that person’s life has to be destroyed!”Â
This is where we are right now. Career over.Â
Look at look Jerry Seinfeld and Larry the Cable Guy, they won’t even do a comedy show on a college campus because they’re so afraid of the blowback.Â
So Dave Chappelle, he took it out of the religious liberty/religious freedom world where we are, and he said, “OK, look, we’ve got a big problem in this country, and we’ve got to talk about this.”Â
And the blowback that guy got, it was just unbelievable!Â
A Fascist Attitude
It’s been interesting to watch the left sometimes eat their own, and now even those that don’t share our values are pushing back and saying, “Wait,”—and you see a lot of it with comedians. They’re standing up and saying, “Wait a minute, you’re taking so many things off the table because of—frankly fascist—attitudes towards what should be spoken and what shouldn’t be spoken”.
And this is being reinforced in the media. Watch primetime shows. it”s not about entertainment anymore, it’s about indoctrination. The CW—I’m a fan of it—I love comic books and stuff like that growing up as a kid. So the CW That’s where they have, all the the big superhero TV shows, and the kids love that stuff, like Flash and Green Arrow, so they came out with lesbian Batwoman.Â
And they can’t understand it because the ratings have plummeted and nobody understands why. Well, maybe people want to be entertained instead of indoctrinated.Â
It’s been interesting that they have almost an echo chamber around them, and they think this stuff is going to work really well, and it gets out in the broader scope of things and it doesn’t work well. But they’ve had an echo chamber with academia and with media in so many places that they really think that they represent the people, and when it gets out in the real world it just doesn’t fly.
Ben Shapiro, who’s just a really remarkable fellow, goes out there and he comes under such fierce attack on these university campuses, and it’s almost laughable because they accuse Ben Shapiro of being a white nationalist when, in fact, he’s Jewish. It’s unbelievable, these folks.
Defending Freedom of Speech
No doubt. OK. I got to ask you, as you have been—I think David said it right—almost a whistleblower for these fronts to the First Amendment and religious liberty. How much have you seen that change the landscape? Or at least in those specific issues, those times when you do raise awareness to it, it gets reversed. Because that’s the good news, right? When we shine a light on this, there can be change. Most of the American people are with us on free speech and religious liberty, as you brought awareness of those things. Tell us about the good response that you’ve seen when that happened.
We’ve had some great stories to tell. Just a couple of weeks ago we took up the cause of a group of cheerleaders in North Carolina. They were at a Friday night football game, and it was America theme night.Â
A couple of teenage boys, here they were celebrating America? Shocking!Â
I know, right? Well, it was North Carolina. So we’re not talking about Berkeley, California here.Â
It probably wasn”t the Charlotte area, but it was North Carolina.Â
It was not Charlotte. I can tell you that right now. So, a couple of the guys in the stands. They hopped out, and the cheerleaders rolled the track before the game, and they had one of the guys is wearing a Trump 2020 “Make America Great Again” banner as a cape. And so, just how kids are, they got together took a quick picture, and they’re holding the flag, and that was that.Â
“Get This Congressman on the Boat!”
But a teacher saw what was happening and took a photograph of it, and posted it with a little snarky note, and the North Carolina High School Athletic Association put the entire cheerleading squad on probation. They said they broke some sort of a rule.
So it was even worse than having a bible verse on your sign for all of the players to run through. They said something positive about Trump!
Oh, they got triggered. Somebody got triggered in that group. I mean, people were freaking out. So I was just righteously indignant.Â
I was literally on our radio program, and I’m yelling at my producer, “Producer John! “Get the Congressman! Who is the congressman for that district?”Â
And they said, “Well, hold on. It was Grossman so and so,” Hudson is his name.Â
“Get him on the boat right now Right now! I want this man on the boat!”Â
So the congressman gets called up, and we have him on the show.Â
“Congressman, what are you going to do about this? We’ve got to reverse this?”Â
So the congressman got righteously indignant, and sure enough, two weeks later, the North Carolina High School Athletic Association backed down.Â
And you’re right, it’s all a matter of getting involved, taking a stand, and not backing down. Doing it in a winsome way. That’s the lesson.
And you do that incredibly well. We love reading your stuff, and the website today ToddStarnes.com is the place to go for new stuff. Culture Jihad, get it at bookstores everywhere. Can you get on the website as well?Â
Oh, absolutely. I’ll even sign a copy of the book.Â
Moment From American HistoryÂ
This is Tim Barton from WallBuilders with another moment from American history. Alexis De Tocqueville, a political official from France, traveled to the United States in 1831 and penned his observations in the now famous book, “Democracy In America.”
Being from France, what he found in America was completely unexpected to him. He reported, “Upon my arrival in the United States, the religious aspect of the country was the first thing that struck my attention. And, the longer I stayed there the more I perceived the great political consequences resulting from this. In France I had almost always seen the spirit of religion and the spirit of freedom marching in opposite directions. But, in America I found that they were intimately united and that they reigned in common over the same country.”
Did Tocqueville recognized that it was Biblical Christianity and the morals it produced that made America great? For more information about Alexis Tocqueville and the positive influence of Christianity in early America go to WallBuilders.com.
What Happened to Fox?
Welcome back! Thanks for staying with us here on WallBuilders Live. In the previous segment we were with Todd Starnes in Washington D.C. at the Values Voter Summit.
You can catch more of those interviews that we were able to do live out there at the summit at our website WallBuildersLive.com. Great place to go for our Good News and Friday programs, Foundations of Freedom programs that are archived.Â
We’re back in the studio now with David and Tim Barton. Guys, another one of those great opportunities to sit down face to face with somebody we’ve worked with and had on the program many, many times, but it was great to do a face to face. I”m really excited to see all the new things that Todd’s doing and the doors God’s opened for it.
Yeah, it was something that, when we saw the news like everybody else about how Todd Starnes was out of Fox, we thought, “What in the world what has happened? Fox is going crazy.”Â
There were many people giving me indication they think Fox is not the same Fox it used to be. It’s not as conservative, doesn’t promote the same kind of values, it’s not as friendly to Christians as it used to be. Even though there’s still some good people over at Fox, you certainly kind of see that tone.Â
But then when this happened, it’s hard.Â
We Need Voices Bringing Violations of Our Rights to Light
We thought, “OK, Fox really has gone off the deep end,” because Todd was one of the guys who was one of the few strong Christian voices at Fox and that was absolutely defending religious liberty, constitutional values, and rights. He, as was mentioned in the interview, was one of those guys almost like a whistleblower, bringing attention to a lot of the things that were happening.Â
When he left Fox, it really—at least for me—I thought poorly of Fox. Then the hubbub about what really happened, why was he out, and there was speculation it was off the Jeffress thing, and all that.
But the point is, it is great to see that he is still finding ways to stay engaged and, as he mentioned, he was building his own base. He was getting a lot of trolls and people who were just there to be opposition to what he was doing off the social media to where now he has something that, as he continues to break these stories, he has a good platform to share that with others.Â
We definitely need voices like his that are bringing attention to a lot of the issues. A lot of things that he talked about are things that we talk about as well, but many of these situations, you can’t just have one voice talking about it. You need the multitude that is crying out when some of these atrocities happen so that there can be the right kind of response, opposition, and defiance when you have very secular leftist people that are trying to remove constitutional values, religious principles, etc. So it is great to see Todd still being involved and engaged.
New Conservative Media Groups Rising Up
I appreciate the fact that Todd is out there and he really is building an activist base. It’s disappointing that Fox let him go, but we’ve been hearing things—I specifically have been hearing things from Fox insiders for a long time, people who are very close to that industry, who said when Roger dies and the kids get it, it’s going to be totally different because the kids are very far left.Â
That appears to be what’s happening there. Fox is shifting left fairly rapidly if you look at their new hires, if you look at who they’re releasing and why they’re releasing them, if you look at what now offends Fox that even two years ago they would have been more heavily defending. There was a major shift in the culture of Fox right now is pretty evident.Â
So it’s disappointing they don’t want Todd to be part of their team anymore, particularly with all the growth and popularity he had. But that is an indication that Fox definitely seems to be moving in a new direction, looking for a new audience. We’ll see if they can hold up with that, because they have been kind of the go to site for a lot of conservative folks. We”ll see if it stays that way.
And this is why you do see a growth of things like Todd Starnes platform. You see a growth of a lot of independent platforms now, whether you look at Daily Wired, with Ben Shapiro and and all the guys around him, or Glenn Beck and the Blaze, and all the people that have come on there with the Mark Levins, and Steven Crowders, and a lot of notable names.
Getting Reliable Information and Acting on It
There’s there’s a lot of growing movements outside of Fox, where there is a lot of voices promoting many of the conservative, biblical, constitutional principles that Fox is not promoting on the same level anymore.
That’s why it’s so important for everyone to be informed and to make informed decisions about where they get their information to get informed. That’s your news outlets as well, so it’s good to see a lot of these new outlets available, that are much more reliable sources, that are just telling the truth and reporting on what’s actually happening out there.Â
And then we need to do something about it. That means getting involved in elections, paying attention to what’s going on cashing in our votes. It has an impact on our lives. It has an impact on our backyard, our families, our churches, and our freedom. All of those things.Â
That’s why we’ve been given this wonderful talent of freedom, this gift that God has given us. The Master has laid it at our feet, given it to us, and when the Master returns, what are we going to say about what we did with that talent? Did we bury it and not participate in it, or did we actually invest in it, work it, multiply it, and make it possible for others to enjoy that same freedom?Â
That’s what we’re about here at WallBuilders, rebuilding those foundations, rebuilding those walls. As it says in Nehemiah, “Arise and rebuild the walls, that we may no longer be at reproach.”Â
Interviewing Todd Starnes on Religious Liberty Violations
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