Ralph Reed joined Pat Robertson today on “The 700 Club,” ostensibly to discuss his new novel “The Confirmation” but spent most of the fifteen minute segment talking politics.
At first, Reed explained how the plot of his novel is loosely based on the Clarence Thomas confirmation fight, saying that it was that issue that made him realize that he was really engaged in a spiritual battle:
Robertson: The whole concept though was based, I guess, on Clarence Thomas’ confirmation hearing.
Reed: Yeah, and you know Pat I was then at the Christian Coalition and you I worked very closely together on that confirmation. And I’ll never forget while we were in the midst of that fight, I got a call one night from Bill Bright who was then still with us and was at Campus Crusade and he said “you know, I never do this but I was on my knees at five o’clock this morning praying for this man.” And he goes “I generally don’t get involved in legislative battles, but I want to write a personal letter to every member of the Senate and ask them to vote for Clarence Thomas.”
And what that showed me Pat, and of course he was ultimately confirmed, it showed me that this is not just a temporal or a political or a legislative battle, that there’s a spiritual realm.
So what I try to show in “The Confirmation” is yes they are negative attack ads and yes there are hit pieces in the newspaper, but God is on the throne … that there is a genuine struggle between good and evil and that Godl’y men and women can get involved in the political process and they can advance and build his kingdom.
Next the discussion turned to the Tea Party movement, which Robertson said was a descendant of the Christian Coalition before turning to the issue of politicians who use the Religious Right for political benefit, which Robertson singling out President Bush:
Reed: I will predict this, on November 2 you are going to see the biggest turnout of evangelical Christians in a midterm election in modern American history, even bigger than in 1994. You know there is a survey Pat that showed that half of the Tea Party Movement were evangelicals.
Robertson: Sure, I think some of the carry over from the Christian Coalition, they morphed into this. What about this Tea Party? I’m a little bit ambivalent, they need some structure.
Reed: Well, I have to tell you I’m a big fan. I know a lot of the organizers personally. I work closely with the Tea Party Patriots and in fact two of those three national leaders I worked with in Georgia for many years. And I want to tell you Pat, they’re believers by and large. They are people who are not looking for power, they’re looking to give back, not to get anything from the system.
I predict that with them, as with the pro-family movement of which you were such a key pioneer, that there will come sophistication, maturation and structure over time. But it’s kind of like at the beginning of the so-called Religious Right it was a few guys flying around in airplanes doing rallies. But now look how sophisticated it is. But that took thirty years.
Robertson: Well, I hope that they’ll be included. In your book, it’s very well presented, the evangelicals are sort of on the outside and viewed with disdain by some of the insiders. You wrote it very well.
Reed: You know a little about that.
Robertson: Yeah, I know where that disdain is. Out in the front they hug you and kiss you and behind the scenes they make fun of you.
Reed: Right. Or the other way around, they want to meet with you in private before the election but then don’t want to be seen with you at the cameras.
Robertson: I had that with the late, great President Bush. I know exactly how it is. Let’s not let anybody know you are coming in. Guard the room, so we don’t have any cameras.
Finally, Reed marvelled at the impact Robertson has had, noting that it has taken generations, but now Regent University graduates like Gov. Bob McDonnell and Rep. Michele Bachmann are Republican leaders:
Reed: We’re celebrating this year fifty years of your ministry and I was thinking about it as I was coming to do the show and you’ve got Scott Rigell who’s a Regent University grad who’s running for Congress right here in the Second District, one of the most high-profile races in the country.
Bob McDonnell, a Regent grad, is governor of the Commonwealth of Virginia. You’ve got people serving in positions of influence and effectiveness all over the country at very high levels.
Robertson: Michele Bachmann is one of ours too.
Reed: Is Michele Bachmann?
Robertson: Yeah, she’s a Law School grad …
Reed: Well, there you go. I rest my case.
And through the Faith and Freedom Coalition, which I really learned how to do that here at the Christian Coalition, the reality is that sometimes you don’t see the full impact you are going to have on a country until a generation or two later.