Obamanation: A Day of Truth
Accuracy in Media Conference 9/21/2012
Speaker: Bishop E. W. Jackson, Sr.
“Obama’s Contempt for Religious Freedom”
Transcribed by J. C. Hendershot & Bethany Stotts
DON IRVINE: Bishop Jackson is our next speaker. He drove in at midnight this last night here just so he can speak to us today. We’re grateful to have him here.
Many of you will recognize Bishop Jackson from his television appearances on such shows as The O’Reilly Factor, and the Virginia residents in the audience will recognize Bishop Jackson as one of the Republican primary candidates who ran for U.S. Senate. Bishop Jackson is the founder of Exodus Faith Ministries, a non-denominational ministry that is headquartered in Chesapeake, Virginia. During his professional career in Boston, he practiced law for fifteen years, and started Boston’s first and only all-Gospel radio station. In 1996 he left law practice and radio to lead the Samaritan Project, a national outreach and racial reconciliation effort which distributed $500,000 to churches victimized by arson. Bishop Jackson served five years both as the minister for the Boston Red Sox chapel services—I think they need your help more than ever right now—and Protestant Chaplain for the Boston Fire Department. He has taught administrative law at Northeastern University, and business and commercial law at Strayer University in Virginia Beach and Chesapeake, Virginia.
Bishop Jackson’s television appearances include CNN’s Talkback Live, ABC’s Good Morning America, NBC’s Hardball with Chris Matthews, and C-SPAN’s Washington Journal. I would also like to add that Bishop Jackson served for three years in the U.S. Marine Corps. You can learn more about Bishop Jackson by visiting his ministry’s website, at bishopjacksonministries.org, or you can also order his new book, Ten Commandments to an Extraordinary Life. Today, Bishop Jackson is going to share his views about the Obama Administration and its attacks against religious freedom. Please give a warm welcome to Bishop Jackson.
BISHOP E. W. JACKSON, SR.: Thank you so much, Don, and thank you for having me. George Washington is my favorite American figure. I read as much about him as I can. I discovered some notes of his for his first inaugural address, which he never spoke. These were not included in the address that he gave, but they were part of his writing, and I believe that even though he didn’t speak these words at his first inaugural, I believe that they were tucked away for posterity, and so I present them to you today, for your consideration. He said:
“I pretend to no unusual foresight into futurity, and therefore cannot undertake to decide with certainty, what may be [America’s] ultimate fate. If a promised good should terminate in an unexpected evil . . . if the blessings of Heaven showered thick around us should be spilled on the ground or converted to curses, through the fault of those for whom they were intended, it would not be the first instance of folly or perverseness in short-sighted mortals. The blessed Religion revealed in the word of God will remain an eternal and awful monument to prove that the best Institutions may be abused by human depravity; and that they may even, in some instances be made subservient to the vilest purposes. Should, hereafter, those who are entrusted with the management of this government, incited by the lust of power . . . overleap the known barriers of this Constitution and violate the unalienable rights of humanity: it will only serve to shew, that no compact among men (however provident in its construction and sacred in its ratification) can be pronounced everlasting and inviolable . . . against the sweeping torrent of boundless ambition . . . aided by the sapping torrent of corrupted morals.”
It’s as if he wrote that for us today.
Now on August 4th, 1971, I stood in a Marine Corps office, raised my hand, and swore an oath to the Constitution of the United States that I would preserve, protect, and defend it against all enemies, foreign and domestic, and bear true faith and allegiance to the same.
That oath never had an expiration date, and I believe that that Constitution is under assault within our own country as never before.
Now, I’ve been asked to talk to you about the assault by Barack Obama on our religious liberty, but let’s first understand the context. I think we are begin led by people who don’t respect our Constitution. They just fundamentally don’t think it’s important. I, and Rick Scarborough, and a number of others, stood against the Hate Crimes Bill. The Hate Crimes Bill—now think about that, that we would actually punish people for what they think, not for what they do. Think about this President taking it upon himself to act as if he can by executive fiat do whatever he wants to do.
Our Founding Fathers were extremely wise. They were not only ingenious, they were inspired. They were great men, not perfect, but great men. And yet they designed a Constitution that would limit even their power. They provided that it would have enumerated and limited powers, only certain powers delegated to the federal government. They provided for co-equal branches so that each one would have its own jurisdiction. They provided for separation of powers so that one should not transgress the jurisdiction of the other. They provided the Tenth Amendment, that if it’s not specifically given to the federal government in the Constitution, then it is yours, the people and the states. So individual liberty and sovereignty was supposed to be the very backbone of our Constitution. Every single one of those has been violated by this administration. Obamacare has violated both our religious freedom, it’s violated our individual liberty, because the federal government is ordering us to buy a product that we don’t want. The majority of Americans don’t want it—they’ve shoved it down our throats. They could not care less.
President Obama has said if the Congress will not cooperate with him, “We can’t wait.” Well, there’s this little thing called the Constitution that says you have to wait—but he hasn’t waited:
He hasn’t waited for Card Check. He’s tried to implement that through the National Labor Relations Board.
He hasn’t waited for the DREAM Act—couldn’t get that through the legislature, he’s doing it by executive fiat.
Carbon trading—hasn’t waited for that: The Environmental Protection Agency is moving ahead.
In fact, if you ever watch him closely, he frequently signs Executive Orders with a phalanx of people around him, as if there’s some great legislative moment taking place, and he’ll often say, “And now I’ll sign the legislation,” and you think to yourself, But it’s not legislation—it does not have the force of law.
So I said that to indicate that the whole atmosphere of our Constitutional culture, if you will, is being undermined, so that when you come to religious liberty, you come to it in a context in which we have an administration—now, I’m speculating about this, I could be wrong. I graduated from Harvard Law School as well. I know that the President did—of course, I like to tell people, “He drank the Kool-Aid, I didn’t drink the Kool-Aid”—yeah, thank you. That’s right: He’s a Kool-Aid drinker, no question! But I would almost guarantee you that he has never read the Federalist Papers. In fact, I don’t believe he’s ever read the Constitution. I really don’t. You say, “Now why would you say that?” Because I graduated from Harvard Law School: I was not required to read it. We were only required to read cases about the Constitution. Now, you might happen upon a section or an article here and there, but you were never required to actually read and understand the words on the document itself. And that’s the background that he has. That’s the nature of his education. You never hear him talk about freedom. And yet, even though our Founding Fathers were interested in creating a government strong enough to protect us from foreign enemies, strong enough to provide an infrastructure that would unite us as a nation, their foundational principle in doing so was to make sure that the American people remain free. And you never hear him talk about freedom. It’s not important to him. He doesn’t think that way.
So that’s the context in which our religious liberty is being assaulted. So, now, think about what he has said and done with regard to our First Amendment rights. We’ve already talked about the Obamacare, and the fact that we now are learning, that he is going to require that Catholic and Protestant health care institutions—hospitals, clinics, and the like—distribute contraceptives and abortifacients for free to anybody who wants them. Now, people can disagree—Left versus Right—but most of us have always respected a right of conscience in this country, a sense that if you have deeply held religious convictions—we don’t even require that people who are pacifists, if it comes out of a sincerely held religious conviction, we don’t even require that they go fight! We give them a pass. We allow them to fulfill the dictates of their conscience.
We have a President who says that doesn’t matter: He’ll give you one year to change your conscience, or change your policies, or pay whatever the price is—he can make us pay if he’s still in office at that time. But it shouldn’t come as any surprise to us, because, folks, this is not simply about religious liberty. It’s not simply about whether we can worship. Eric Holder reached out to black churches to help them understand what this administration needs in order to assure its reelection. Now, it was done under the guise of other things, but we know what it’s all about. They’re not interested in whether people are free to worship, they’re interested in whether they can exercise the power over Americans that they want to exercise. And let me tell you something: While we have many things in our Constitution, religious liberty is foundational. Now, you know, John Adams, and George Washington, and others of our Founding Fathers often said that without religion and morality we could not be a successful Republic. When John Adams said that our government was designed for religious and moral people, that it is wholly inadequate to the governance of any other; George Washington said you can’t even consider yourself a patriot if you would undermine the pillars of religion and morality—but I don’t believe that we’re talking about abortion or same-sex marriage. I believe they were saying this: If you have a nation that is gathered together not on the basis of force—not because some dictator, some king, some potentate says, “You will be a nation, I will govern you, this will be the territory in which you exist”—but no, a people who are gathered together by covenant, a covenant called the Constitution, of people who are held together by mere words, words written on a sacred document. If you ever come to a point where there’s no sense of religion and morality—in other words, a sense of answering to an absolute authority, a sense that there is right and wrong, there is good and evil, there is truth and there is falsehood—then the document would become meaningless. I think that’s what George Washington was referring to when he used these words, “the torrent of corrupted morals,” “overwhelming ambition.”
Now what difference does the Constitution make? “We know what’s best for people—and we’re going to do that, and, frankly, folks, if you want to do that you have got to get rid of a fundamental idea, and the fundamental idea is that our rights do not come from government but they come from God.” If you can undermine that notion, then you undermine the very basis upon which the Constitution was built. Remember that the preamble of the Constitution says, as the sixth purpose for which it was designed, “to secure the blessings of liberty.” It didn’t say to “give them.” It said to “secure them,” because the notion was that these blessings of liberty don’t come from the Constitution even, they come from God. They come from our Creator. If you undermine that notion, then you have undermined the very foundation of our country, in my view—and this administration is busy trying to do that.
Now, let me just say this: I really appreciated the remarks of Artur Davis. Let me differ with him on something. I believe that this push for same-sex marriage, which I don’t believe is ultimately about same-sex marriage, I think it’s the same issue—Chai Feldblum has said there is a conflict between the First Amendment and sexual freedom. She has said—you can check it out on Google—she has said, “Sexual freedom must always win over the First Amendment.” I mean, she said that, even though sexual freedom’s not mentioned in the Constitution, the First Amendment is the first right that’s recognized by the Constitution, but she says, “No, no, no, the First Amendment liberties of the American people must give way.” The whole point is, “We’ve got to stop those people who believe in a Creator. We’ve got to shut that idea down so that we can make a different kind of nation, so that we can, if you will, ‘fundamentally transform the United States of America.’”
Let me tell you where I differ: I believe that conservatism is right. I believe that we have it right. I’m willing to die along with liberals as long as they listen. Folks, we have got a great big, gaping opportunity to reach blacks and Hispanics in this country. It’s big enough to drive a Mack truck through, and we’re not taking advantage of it, because those conservative people—and, by the way, if you Google this, you’ll find that there’s rumblings all over the country: Black ministers are meeting, trying to figure out how to hold their people in line because the rank and file are saying, “What’s wrong with Barack Obama? What is this same-sex marriage stuff? What is he talking about?” They know that that’s contrary not only to their faith, but they know it’s really being built on their backs, because they’re equating homosexuality with being black—and by the way, you don’t even have to be intelligent or educated to figure out when I walked in this room, nobody looked at me and said, “Gee, I wonder if he’s black?” But they’ve done that, and, frankly, there is an undercurrent of resentment.
I started a movement called Exodus, now I’m calling Christians, particularly black Christians, to come out en masse of the Democrat Party. We held a press conference at the Press Club, you’ll find two messages that I have online, my website is standamerica.us—standamerica.us, I’ll leave some cards and some brochures for you. We have a message to the black church community, because I believe that we have an opportunity unlike anything we’ve ever had before—and let me remind you folks, while he’s said, “The Republican party has not shown people a vision”—I’m paraphrasing—I would say this: The black community has had help. They’ve had help being hoodwinked. They’ve been told—and I hope you are all aware of this, but at every election there’s a big lie. During one of [George] Bush’s elections the big lie was, “If you don’t vote for Democrats, the Republicans are gonna put you back in slavery.” Another lie that’s been told: “If you don’t vote for Democrats they’re gonna take away the voting rights of black people.” Now, one that’s circulating during this election is that the Republicans plan to do away with Martin Luther King [Jr.’s] birthday as a holiday. So there’s an attempt to manipulate people, to keep them afraid—afraid of us, frankly—and we’ve got to break through that, and the only way we’re going to do that is with leadership that exposes this attack on our religious liberty, and exposes this attack on our values, and exposes the attack on the absolute truth upon which our Constitution is based: “We hold these truths—” not opinions, but truths—“to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.” Thank you.
AUDIENCE MEMBER 1: Amen!
BISHOP JACKSON: Yes, ma’am?
AUDIENCE MEMBER 2: It was an excellent speech. I did a little research on the United Church of Christ. I saw that the church was actually—they were lobbying for Obamacare, and mobilizing their congregations to petition government to lobby on behalf of that. Then these same church leaders are also serving as advisors on his committee to determine how the federal government spends its money, using, I guess, Biblical references to justify it. Is this in violation of the Establishment Clause? Is what he—is this legal?
BISHOP JACKSON: Well, I would say that Barack Obama is violating the IRS code statutes that basically say churches are not supposed to be endorsing political candidates. Now, whether one agrees with that or not, that is the law of the land, but, of course, that doesn’t stop him from doing what he wants to do. Let me say, the United Church of Christ is an extremely liberal denomination, extremely liberal. Most of the black folks—and I can’t speak as accurately to the Hispanic folks, but I did have a meeting with some Hispanic pastors about a week-and-a-half ago, and was very surprised at what I heard—but remember, most of the black people in America are in Baptist churches, Pentecostal churches. Many of these churches are independent, they are not hierarchical, and their pastors are depending upon themselves and their congregations, and—here, again, if there’s no leadership to help them to see that they can stand against the tide—they’re afraid of losing members, of losing tithes, and so forth. That’s why I think that they are reachable. The United Church of Christ, and a few other denominations in this country, are really just gone. And, of course, you see people who are standing on a Biblical foundation leaving those denominations and looking for somewhere else, someplace else as a home.
AUDIENCE MEMBER 3: Hey. This is—is that on? Okay. This is what goes through my mind—actually, I’ve been predicting this for a long time, not publicly, not on the air—because I do a radio show every morning—but it seems to me logical that the Obama campaign, at the last minute, especially if you have success pulling blacks away from the Democratic Party, they’re gonna pull the Mormon Card, and the Mormon church’s history in dealing with blacks. I see that as extremely dangerous, very highly likely possibility. Have you guys thought about that, about how you would counter that, what you would do, and if you can?
BISHOP JACKSON: Thank you, Sandy. Yes, we have, which is why our movement does not endorse Mitt Romney. Now, make no mistake: I’m voting for Mitt Romney, I support Mitt Romney, but our movement does not. It does not endorse Mitt Romney, it does not endorse the Republican party, it does not say that people, “You need to become a Republican, you need to vote for Mitt Romney.” All we say is, you cannot be in a party that doesn’t even want God in its platform, that gets offended at the very mention of Jesus, and that equates you and the plight of black people and the history of black people in this country with homosexuality. You can’t continue to support that party.” Look, without being too explicit about this, in my humble opinion, we may have to think of this as happening in stages, where basically people say, “Well, I certainly—” and I’ve heard many say it, by the way, Sandy, so I’m very encouraged, people say, “Well, you know, I don’t know if I can vote for Mitt Romney, but I can’t vote for Obama.” So, in the end, it may be helpful in helping to reclaim our country, and be a first step in helping people to open up and start thinking through the issues without regard to whether people are Republican and Democrat, but to where they stand. Yes, sir?
AUDIENCE MEMBER 4: I have a friend at work, and we got into some political discussions. I usually avoid that at work, but we got into some political discussions. She was, basically, telling me that she didn’t like Obama, what he was doing. Recently, though, we got into discussions, again and it changed. Her idea changed, her opinion. I asked her why, and she said, “Well, you would not be able to understand this because you haven’t experienced it, but as a black woman, I can look at Romney and [Paul] Ryan and see that they are blatant, over-the-top racists. So, therefore, I could not vote for them.” Where—what does this—where does this come from? What can I do as her friend to help her see through this?
BISHOP JACKSON: Well, that’s a two-part question. First of all, it comes from the Democrat Party. You know, they had a meeting in which they recruited a woman—and I wrote about this—a woman to come in and teach Democrats how to turn everything into a racial issue. When [Joe] Biden made that comment, “They gonna put you all back in chains,” that wasn’t a gaffe. They’ve talked about this. They continue to push that out there because they’re afraid, frankly—and I’ve heard that my movement and some others have them quite concerned—and so they want to keep people frightened. So that’s the first part.
The second part is leadership. You know, not to put too fine a point on it, but help people like me, because I have found that people whose hearts are sincere about their faith, and sincere about their commitment to it, when you give them the truth, the light bulb goes on. But there are very few who are willing to step out there and do that, because, of course, it’s not pleasant all the time. You don’t get accolades for it, everybody doesn’t love you for it. So, look: I need all the help I can get, not only between now and November 6th, but on an ongoing basis, for my organization, STAND—which is Staying True to America’s National Destiny, Exodus Now! is just a project of STAND—to keep getting this message out, because I believe we could be on the cusp of an historic shift again, just like the one that occurred between Roosevelt and Johnson, where the black community went from being overwhelmingly Republican to being overwhelmingly Democrat. I think we could be in the midst of another shift. It may take a while for it to happen. And I would just say this, if my time is up: Please, don’t see this as a short-term issue. I heard somebody saying, “What are we going to do?” We’ve got to get our people in the media. We’ve got to get our people in these judgeships. We’ve got to make sure that we have our people—we’ve got to raise up kids. This is a generational fight, folks. This is not going to be over on November 6—even if Romney and Ryan win, and, in Virginia, George Allen comes back to the Senate, and we take the Senate—it’s going to be a fight that continues, because these folks don’t quit, they don’t back up—and we’ve got to have the same attitude.