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Glenn Beck Explains Why He Doesn't Focus on Culture War Issues

This is a RUSH transcript from "The O'Reilly Factor," August 11, 2010. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

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BILL O'REILLY, HOST: In the "At Your Beck and Call" segment tonight: If you watch the Beck-meister's program at 5 here on Fox News, you know he spends a lot of time on the big-picture items, mostly political, but largely avoids culture warrior issues like gay marriage and abortion. I asked Beck why last night.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

O'REILLY: So, Beck, you don't do a lot of culture war stuff on your program or on the radio show either, do you?

GLENN BECK, FOX NEWS ANCHOR: I leave that to you.

O'REILLY: Why don't you do the culture warrior stuff?

BECK: Because honestly, right now, I mean, the one part of culture that I am doing a lot of is faith. But general faith. We have got to get back to our churches, our synagogues, our mosques, whatever it is, as long as it's not telling to you blow things up. Get back to God and get back to the Founding Fathers.

O'REILLY: I don't know if that's going to happen. I mean, it's a noble thing you're trying to do, because spirituality is a good thing. Introspection is a good thing. But let's take the gay marriage deal. You know, big ruling in California. You really didn't cover that much, right?

BECK: No.

O'REILLY: Why?

BECK: Because honestly, I think we have bigger fish to fry. You can argue about abortion or gay marriage or whatever else you want.

O'REILLY: Yes.

BECK: The country is burning down. I personally think these…

O'REILLY: Isn't that one of the reasons, because we're getting away from the traditional way we used to live into this progressive...

BECK: Instead of arguing about these divisive things, let's get back into our churches and our synagogues and...

O'REILLY: You're not going to get people going back unless there 's a reason to go back.

BECK: Here's the reason, America. Your country is burning down. I don't think marriage, that the government actually has anything to do with...

O'REILLY: But they do have…

BECK: That is a religious rite.

O'REILLY: I know, but they do have something to do, because gay marriage is going to be a reality in this country in 10 years.

BECK: Why do they have anything to do with it?

O'REILLY: Because they choose to, and you're not going to stop them, all right?

BECK: Actually, this is where we disagree.

O'REILLY: The Supreme Court may rule against gay marriage. Very possible.

BECK: You're willing to continue to go down the road of just accepting "well that's the way it is."

O'REILLY: I'm not accepting anything. I wrote a book about it. Don't give me this accept. Come on.

BECK: He's so hostile.

O'REILLY: Yes. I have to correct you. You are ignoring the profound change in the American family.

BECK: No, I'm not.

O'REILLY: But you're not covering it.

BECK: Because I think that the thing that needs to be covered -- Bill, I believe in a symphony. If we're all playing clarinets, we ain't going to get very far. A symphony needs to sound. I'm covering what I cover. You cover what you cover. Both of us are saying the same thing. Watch the culture.

O'REILLY: Do you believe -- do you believe that gay marriage is a threat to the country in any way?

BECK: A threat to the country?

O'REILLY: Yes. Is it going to harm?

BECK: No. Are the gay -- will the gays come and get us?

O'REILLY: OK. Is it going to harm the country in any way?

BECK: I believe that Thomas Jefferson said, "If it neither breaks my leg or picks my pocket, what difference is it to me?"

O'REILLY: OK, so you don't. That's interesting because I don't think a lot of people understand that about you.

BECK: As long as we -- as long as we are not going down the road of Canada, where it now is a problem for -- for churches to have free speech if they can still say, "Hey, we...

O'REILLY: Oppose it.

BECK: …"we oppose it, but we're not trying to kill anybody or trying."

O'REILLY: In Sweden they have that, too. OK. So gay marriage to you not a big threat to the nation. How about abortion? Abortion, has that diminished the United States?

BECK: Abortion is killing.

O'REILLY: That has diminished, in your opinion, the United States?

BECK: It's killing. You're killing someone.

O'REILLY: But you don't cover it a lot.

BECK: Because you cover it.

O'REILLY: All right. I'm glad. I'm glad...

BECK: I'm the only one carrying the torch of Van Jones, man. I could be on your show. Why don't you cover it?

O'REILLY: So you basically feel that you're the big-picture guy, and I'm kind of the micro-issue guy.

BECK: No, no. Here's what -- I mean, if you want to -- if you want to accept it, that you're small and I'm big, that's fine. Here's the thing. Here's the thing. We both agree the country is in trouble. Do we not?

O'REILLY: Yes.

BECK: OK. We both think we are on the edge of possibly losing who we are as a society.

O'REILLY: I'm not there yet.

BECK: But you're moving in my direction.

O'REILLY: I think the folks are going to correct it pretty quickly.

BECK: Well, you're moving in my direction. I believe that faith is going to be the corrective, the antidote that we need.

O'REILLY: All right. Now you're -- you're going to feature Calvin Coolidge, OK.

BECK: Let's see. Why haven't you covered Calvin Coolidge?

O'REILLY: You know, I asked myself that. Why have I been...

BECK: He is not covering Silent Cal.

O'REILLY: That's right. Why have I been ignoring Millard Fillmore and Calvin Coolidge? I'd be right on.

BECK: Here's another reason why I don't cover the culture stuff right now. Because we have to restore history. We are being...

O'REILLY: You're going to restore Calvin Coolidge.

BECK: It's important.

O'REILLY: He's dead, OK. You got that. All right.

BECK: Not around. Walt Disney I will argue to the grave, he's still alive and is in a refrigerator on the island. But that's a different story. Silent Cal, however.

O'REILLY: Yes.

BECK: Ronald Reagan's favorite...

O'REILLY: Why -- why...

BECK: Did you hear about the depression of 1920?

O'REILLY: Yes.

BECK: You did? OK.

O'REILLY: We discussed this.

BECK: Bigger than '29. Bigger than '29.

O'REILLY: And Calvin got us out of it...

BECK: Exactly.

O'REILLY: ...by not saying a word.

BECK: No. He did say many words. He did the right things. We're being presented with a false promise right now: Spend an awful lot of money or spend a really awful lot of money.

O'REILLY: So you say that Cal should be our model to bring the economy back, Cal Coolidge, the man from Northampton.

BECK: Massachusetts. That is just how cool I am.

O'REILLY: Right.

BECK: Calvin Coolidge.

O'REILLY: What would Woodrow Wilson think?

BECK: They didn't get along. See, this is the kind of dialogue we could be having every night. Bill...

O'REILLY: Yes.

BECK: ...you finally get it.

O'REILLY: OK. Could I get security and get Beck out of here, please? Glenn Beck, everyone.

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